am·​phib·​i·​an | \ am-ˈfi-bē-ən How to pronounce amphibian (audio) \

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 Here, the precursors of frog skin sidle up to cells that, in another life, might have helped an amphibian’s heart beat. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Assemble Frog Stem Cells Into First ‘Living Machines’," 13 Jan. 2020 In that same time, amphibians were reduced by 80 percent and freshwater fish by 65 percent. Jordan G. Teicher, The New Republic, "An Animal’s-Eye View of Mass Extinction in Progress," 7 Jan. 2020 But something is happening today that is causing amphibians to disappear at alarming rates. National Geographic, "Here’s how travelers can help protect frogs in Costa Rica," 19 Dec. 2019 One species, the pouched or hip pocket frog, is a delicate, 2-centimeter-long amphibian that raises its tadpoles in pouches on its hips. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "A fires rage across Australia, fears grow for rare species," 17 Dec. 2019 But the results also included large animals like 11 fish species, twenty mammals, and three amphibians. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The 2,000-Year-Long Search for the Loch Ness Monster," 21 Nov. 2019 Their populations are doing fine as far as amphibians go. oregonlive, "What’s harming this Japanese snowbell tree? Ask an expert," 10 Nov. 2019 But in the end, shivering in the dark with only amphibians for company wasn’t such a big mistake after all. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "To find your dream career, try studying salamanders in isolation," 15 Oct. 2019 According to one estimate, nearly 85 percent of the 140 nonnative reptiles and amphibians that disrupted food webs in Florida’s coastal waters between the mid-19th century and 2010 are thought to have been introduced by the exotic pet trade. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "How Do We Prevent Pets from Becoming Exotic Invaders?," 7 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for amphibian

Time Traveler

The first known use of amphibian was in 1749

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Statistics for amphibian

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amphibian.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for amphibian


How to pronounce amphibian (audio)

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 How to pronounce amphibian (audio) \

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

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