am·​plex·​us | \ am-ˈplek-səs How to pronounce amplexus (audio) \

Definition of amplexus

: the mating embrace of some amphibians (such as frogs and toads) in which the male typically takes a position on the back of the female and tightly grasps onto the female with his front legs Frogs mate in a position called amplexus, with the smaller male clasping the female from behind in a ride that can last two days or more. As she lays eggs, he expels sperm to fertilize them.— Mel White

Examples of amplexus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most species practice amplexus in some form, and there are many unique ways of carrying it out. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 14 Mar. 2022

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

First Known Use of amplexus

1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amplexus

borrowed from Latin, "embrace," from amplectere "to embrace" (from am-, assimilated variant of amb- "around, about" + plectere "to plait, twine") + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at ambient entry 1, ply entry 3

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The first known use of amplexus was in 1900

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Cite this Entry

“Amplexus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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