cae·​ci·​lian si-ˈsil-yən How to pronounce caecilian (audio)
: any of an order (Gymnophiona) of chiefly tropical burrowing limbless amphibians resembling worms
caecilian adjective

Examples of caecilian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Zoologists knew something was up with these amphibians, called caecilians, for decades. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2024 Over time, zoologists kept finding examples of baby caecilians feeding on the mucus and skin of their mothers—a strategy quite different from the lay ’em and leave ’em behavior many frogs employ to kick-start the next generation. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2024 Since 1987, his team has been musing about caecilians making milk. Sofia Quaglia, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 Dedicated parents Some caecilians give live birth, but ringed caecilians lay eggs. Popular Science, 7 Mar. 2024 After sequencing the bacteria colonies from all samples, the team discovered that very little of what was found in the environment matched the microbiome of the juvenile caecilians. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Oct. 2023 But the new study sheds some more light on one of caecilians’ unusual traits. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Oct. 2023 The Rio Cauca caecilian, or Typhlonectes natans, is the most common caecilian in the pet trade and scientists suspect the one found in Miami was an unwanted pet that was released. Chris Perkins,, 30 July 2021 The Cayenne caecilian, on the other hand, produced sounds more like burps and farts. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 28 Nov. 2022

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

Word History


ultimately from Latin caecilia slowworm, from caecus blind

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caecilian was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near caecilian

Cite this Entry

“Caecilian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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