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

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 Mar. 2021.

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