ano·​le ə-ˈnō-lē How to pronounce anole (audio)
: any of a genus (Anolis) of arboreal American lizards (such as the green anole) of the iguana family that have a brightly colored dewlap and the ability to change color

Examples of anole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Share [Findings] Researchers who wear orange catch more anoles, and Australia began culling thousands of camels with helicopter snipers. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 13 Sep. 2023 The 34-year-old UF student is in his fourth year pursuing a doctoral degree in interdisciplinary ecology, and much of his work has focused on Gainesville’s native green anole lizards and their responses to two threats: development and invasive brown anoles. Danielle Ivanov,, 23 Oct. 2021 Cox is currently watching another type of lizard — the Panamanian slender anole — do just that. Alex Harris Miami Herald (tns), al, 1 Jan. 2023 Cox said these hilltops — now islands — are hotter and dryer than the anole’s usual habitat deep in the rainforest. Alex Harris Miami Herald (tns), al, 1 Jan. 2023 Several other animals like salamanders and fish have regenerative abilities, but the anole lizard does it in a different way. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 21 Aug. 2014 As a result, anole lizards have become a key scientific model for research into how reptiles develop and evolve. Roni Dengler, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2019 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from French anolis, borrowed from Dominica Island Carib anáoli

Note: The word apparently first appears solely in the form anolis in the anonymous Histoire naturelle et morale des Iles Antilles de l'Amerique (Rotterdam, 1658), attributed to a Huguenot clergyman named Charles de Rochefort (1605-83). In the text (p. 130-31) the word is only used in the plural, so that the singular is ambiguous, but an illustration of a single lizard on p. 135 has the caption Anolis. The form anolis, again only in the plural but without the illustration, is reproduced in an English translation by John Davies of Histoire naturelle et morale, entitled The History of the Caribby-Islands (London, 1666), p. 75 ("The Anolis are very common in all the Plantations: they are about the bigness and length of the Lizzards seen in France …"). Though it occurs but rarely, the singular is anolis in European vernaculars and Latin generally until 1750, when anoli appears in the Manuel lexique, ou Dictionnaire portatif des mots françois attributed to the Abbé Prévost. The English form anole does not seem to be attested before the nineteenth century. Island Carib anáoli ("ce lezart icy est gros comme un gros baston & long d'une coudée" - "this lizard is thick as a thick stick and a cubit in length") is from Raymond Breton's 1665 Dictionnaire caraïbe-français, a lexicon of Lesser Antillean Arawak.

First Known Use

1745, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anole was in 1745

Dictionary Entries Near anole

Cite this Entry

“Anole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ano·​le ə-ˈnō-lē How to pronounce anole (audio)
: any of various chiefly tropical lizards that are able to change color and in the males have a usually brightly colored flap of skin on the throat

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