amplexus

noun
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

Learn More About amplexus

Time Traveler for amplexus

Time Traveler

The first known use of amplexus was in 1900

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near amplexus

amplexifoliate

amplexus

ampliate

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for amplexus

Cite this Entry

“Amplexus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amplexus. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on amplexus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about amplexus

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!