Definition of amphibian in English:
- Class Amphibia: orders Urodela (newts and salamanders), Anura (frogs and toads), and Gymnophiona (caecilians)
- Spadefoot toads are desert-dwelling amphibians that breed opportunistically in short lived pools filled by periodic rainfall.
- Secondarily aquatic adult amphibians provide another source of diversity.
- Among vertebrates, newts and other urodele amphibians show a remarkable capacity for regeneration.
adjectiveBack to top
- In both mammalian and amphibian eggs, integrins have been proposed as putative sperm receptors.
- In dry years, such as the year of this study, ponds were dry by mid-June, invertebrate and amphibian larvae were unable to develop enough to metamorphose and emerge from the water.
- Perhaps 10 to 30 percent of Earth's mammal, bird, and amphibian species are facing extinction.
mid 17th century (in the sense 'having two modes of existence or of doubtful nature'): from modern Latin amphibium 'an amphibian', from Greek amphibion (noun use of amphibios 'living both in water and on land', from amphi 'both' + bios 'life').
Amphibians live both in water and on land, and it is the idea of ‘living in both’ that gives us the word, which comes from Greek amphi ‘both’ (also found in amphitheatre (Late Middle English) from amphi ‘on both sides’ and theatron ‘place for beholding’) and bios ‘life’, source of words such as biology (early 19th century) and antibiotic (mid 19th century). Before it was applied specifically to frogs, toads, and newts, amphibian simply meant ‘having two modes of existence, of doubtful nature’.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.