am·phib·i·an | \-bē-ən \

Definition of amphibian 

1 : an amphibious organism especially : any of a class (Amphibia) of cold-blooded vertebrates (such as frogs, toads, or salamanders) intermediate in many characters between fish and reptiles and having gilled aquatic larvae and air-breathing adults Unlike reptiles, most amphibians possess a smooth, moist skin and lay their shell-less eggs in water or wet places. — Jeffrey P. Cohn

2 : an amphibious vehicle especially : an airplane designed to take off from and land on either land or water

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Other Words from amphibian

amphibian adjective

Examples of amphibian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The first thing one expects in an exhibition devoted to Jim Henson is a kind-eyed, green amphibian made of felt. Tim Greiving,, "Jim Henson's universe: Muppets, 'Sesame Street,' Fraggles and more, all in one traveling exhibition," 4 June 2018 Suddenly, the everybody's going bananas about some Popsicle Party hosted by amphibians. Josie Colt, WIRED, "How to Not Watch the Royal Wedding," 18 May 2018 That would have implications beyond Panama, beyond frogs, beyond amphibians. The Washington Post,, "Some endangered frogs may be leaping back from extinction," 17 May 2018 For all their lumps and bumps, however, these amphibians are rather sensitive creatures. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways To Attract Toads To Your Garden (And Why You’d Totally Want To)," 16 May 2017 For the past nine years, Romeo has been emitting plaintive mating calls, but scientists fear that there are no mates left for the lovelorn amphibian. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Scientists Make Profile for Bolivia’s Loneliest Frog," 13 Feb. 2018 The nuns feed organic earthworms to the amphibians and use a nearby well to change their water regularly. National Geographic, "Nuns Resurrect Endangered Salamanders in First-of-its-Kind Conservation Effort," 19 June 2018 June 10 at Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 3301 Lyon St., S.F. Tree Frog Treks: Amphibians & Reptiles Naturalists will introduce a variety of amphibians and reptiles. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Kids listings," 31 May 2018 The two amphibians—one an introverted cynic who can’t stay present, the other an emotional-novelty addict—have a sweet, enduring friendship. The Atlantic, "What Book or Article Would You Make Required Reading for Everyone on Earth?," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amphibian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amphibian

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for amphibian

ultimately from Greek amphibion amphibious being, from neuter of amphibios

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Statistics for amphibian

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amphibian

The first known use of amphibian was in 1749

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English Language Learners Definition of amphibian

: an animal (such as a frog or toad) that can live both on land and in water

: an airplane or vehicle that can be used both on land and water


am·phib·i·an | \am-ˈfi-bē-ən \

Kids Definition of amphibian

1 : any of a group of cold-blooded vertebrate animals (as frogs and toads) that have gills and live in water as larvae but breathe air as adults

2 : an airplane designed to take off from and land on either land or water

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More from Merriam-Webster on amphibian

Spanish Central: Translation of amphibian

Nglish: Translation of amphibian for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amphibian for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about amphibian

Comments on amphibian

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lying above or upon

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