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newt

Syllabification: newt
Pronunciation: /n(y)o͞ot
 
/

Definition of newt in English:

noun

A small, slender-bodied amphibian with lungs and a well-developed tail, typically spending its adult life on land and returning to water to breed.
Example sentences
  • Around 5,000 amphibian species, including frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders are thought to exist today.
  • A study by Conservation International, an American organisation, found that nearly a third of frogs, toads, newts and other amphibian species were likely to disappear within 100 years.
  • Some amphibians we know today include frogs, toads, newts and salamanders.

Origin

late Middle English: from an ewt (ewt from Old English efeta: see eft), interpreted (by wrong division) as a newt.

More
  • Like nickname, the name of the newt is an example of the phenomenon known as ‘wrong division’ or ‘metanalysis’, whereby people came to attach the last letter of one word to the beginning of the next. Originally the animal was an ewt. Ewt was an Old English term for a newt, as was eft. See also adder, apron

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