am·​phis·​bae·​na ˌam(p)-fəs-ˈbē-nə How to pronounce amphisbaena (audio)
: a serpent in classical mythology having a head at each end and capable of moving in either direction
amphisbaenic adjective

Examples of amphisbaena in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web My list includes epipsychidion, subaqueous, crunk, antidisestablishmentarianism, zombie, amphisbaena, floccinaucinihilipilification, dudical, enantiomorphism and Taco Bell. John Brownlee, WIRED, 1 Dec. 2006

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'amphisbaena.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English amphibaena, borrowed from Latin amphisbaena, borrowed from Greek amphísbaina, from amphís "on both sides" (adverbial derivative of amphí "around, about") + -baina, a conflation of the present stem of baínein "to go, step" and the suffix -aina of animal names (as mýraina "moray eel," drákaina "she-dragon") — more at ambient entry 1, come entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of amphisbaena was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near amphisbaena

Cite this Entry

“Amphisbaena.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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