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 The features visible on the new snout suggested that Elpistostege was not an amphibian but a highly advanced lobe-finned fish. John A. Long, Scientific American, "How a 380-Million-Year-Old Fish Gave Us Fingers," 20 May 2020 Their frequent mud baths create depressions in the soil that fill with water and become important breeding habitats for insects and amphibians, Dr. Beck said. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "White-Lipped Peccary Species May Be in Steep Decline," 19 Feb. 2020 Wood frogs, which exist from the Brooks Range all the way south to Georgia, are the only amphibians in northern Alaska. Anchorage Daily News, "The living dead: Wood frogs across Alaska will soon be frozen solid," 19 Oct. 2019 The researchers were surprised that the collapses appeared across almost all regions and all species — fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. Remy Tumin, New York Times, "W.H.O., Coronavirus, Boxfish: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing," 15 Apr. 2020 These included a protist that kills fish with its toxins and one that also infects mollusks and amphibians, the group reports today in Nature Methods. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "New genetic tools promise to unlock secrets of microscopic marine life," 6 Apr. 2020 Burgener went on to study reptiles and amphibians at Auburn University. Matt Wake |, al, "‘Tiger King’: Alabama ties to bonkers Netflix hit," 17 Apr. 2020 While some animals use biofluorescence to find mates or communicate, scientists still aren’t exactly sure how or why amphibians glow. Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Science | AAAS, "Newts and frogs light up like glow sticks under the right light," 27 Feb. 2020 Chemicals derived from amphibians have been used in developing drugs. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Battle to save Colorado high-country toads goes microbial with ground-breaking Purple Rain treatment," 13 July 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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amphibian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 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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