hellbender

noun
hell·​ben·​der | \ˈhel-ˌben-dər \

Definition of hellbender 

: a large aquatic usually brownish-gray salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) of streams of the eastern and central U.S.

Illustration of hellbender

Illustration of hellbender

Examples of hellbender in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Because of their scarcity, hellbenders have legal protection in North Carolina. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "If you see one of these slimy creatures, NC officials want to hear about it | Charlotte Observer," 30 Mar. 2018 Once common, hellbenders have disappeared through much of their range because of declining water quality. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "If you see one of these slimy creatures, NC officials want to hear about it | Charlotte Observer," 30 Mar. 2018 Because the aquatic salamanders breathe through their skin, hellbenders can't survive in dirty water. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "If you see one of these slimy creatures, NC officials want to hear about it | Charlotte Observer," 30 Mar. 2018 In the American Southeast, eDNA is telling us how much giant, secretive amphibians known as hellbenders have declined across their historical range. Jason Bittel, Smithsonian, "How Scientists Use Teeny Bits of Leftover DNA to Solve Wildlife Mysteries," 25 Apr. 2017 At the time, the future didn't look very good for hellbenders. Jackson Landers, Smithsonian, "Giving ’Em Hell(benders) at the Saint Louis Zoo," 1 June 2017 The increase of hellbenders in the wild is a start. Jackson Landers, Smithsonian, "Giving ’Em Hell(benders) at the Saint Louis Zoo," 1 June 2017 By 2013, the hellbenders were ready to return home. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, "Why this zoo is putting gigantic, slimy ‘snot otters’ back in streams," 29 Apr. 2017 Their relatives, the hellbender and the Chinese giant salamander, have similar mating systems. Mary Bates, WIRED, "Japanese Giant Salamanders Are Devoted Dads," 11 Dec. 2014

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

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First Known Use of hellbender

1812, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of hellbender was in 1812

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