hellbender

noun
hell·​ben·​der | \ ˈhel-ˌben-dər How to pronounce hellbender (audio) \

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 Or the hellbender, suggested by Christine Dell’Amore, an editor on the Animals team. Jeff Kerby, National Geographic, "The sting of the murder hornet:," 14 May 2020 Photographer David Herasimtschuk says this image may be the first of a hellbender attempting to eat a snake. National Geographic, "How many species haven't we found yet?," 26 Dec. 2019 One last glimpse Mealtime: This giant salamander, known as a hellbender, hopes to make a northern water snake its next meal. National Geographic, "How many species haven't we found yet?," 26 Dec. 2019 Zoo officials praised his leadership and noted that his tenure saw the first birth of an African elephant at the Maryland Zoo, the addition of grizzly bears, the return of bobcats and new exhibits on penguins, golden frogs and hellbenders. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Zoo president Don Hutchinson to step down," 27 June 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of hellbender

1812, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hellbender

Time Traveler for hellbender

Time Traveler

The first known use of hellbender was in 1812

See more words from the same year

Statistics for hellbender

Cite this Entry

“Hellbender.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hellbender. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on hellbender

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hellbender

Comments on hellbender

What made you want to look up hellbender? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!