igua·​na | \i-ˈgwä-nə \

Definition of iguana 

: any of various large chiefly herbivorous usually green or brownish tropical American lizards (family Iguanidae, the iguana family) that have a serrated dorsal crest and large dewlap broadly : any of various large lizards

Illustration of iguana

Illustration of iguana

Examples of iguana in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some 432 of them have been transferred so far, including two grizzly bears sent to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, three alligators to Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in Georgia and a Fiji crested iguana to the San Diego Zoo. Luis Andres Henao, Fox News, "Giraffe, rhino deaths raise alarm at former Buenos Aires zoo," 22 Aug. 2018 One person shared a picture of their dog and bunny enjoying a snack, while another weighed in with a photo of a cute pup and his iguana BFF. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Photo of an Unlikely Friendship Between a Cat and a Tortoise Goes Viral," 11 Nov. 2018 Food lovers, rejoice: Fresh fish counters offer catch-of-the-day from both coasts; wild meat markets have unique offerings (deer, alligator, iguana, wild pig, scorpion); and all over are imported European meats and cheeses. Scarlett Lindeman, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Best Markets in Mexico City," 5 Mar. 2018 In the past, Bull City Burger and Brewery has served iguana, camel, alligator, and various insects, Reuters reported. USA TODAY, "North Carolina burger joint offers burger garnished with chargrilled tarantula," 18 Apr. 2018 Some even accept more exotic animals, such as parakeets or iguanas. Laurie Wilson, BostonGlobe.com, "These hotels are the cat’s meow," 25 Apr. 2018 Florida is known for making headlines — alligators end up in swimming pools, iguanas come out of toilets and people are always in the news for outrageous crimes. Ellie Rushing, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Florida towns' claims to fame: We're No. 1," 3 July 2018 Researchers in one county in Florida have been granted permission to smash the skulls of iguanas, in order to reduce the rampant reptile population. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "Bashing iguana heads: Researchers smash reptiles to death to fight Florida invasion," 13 Mar. 2018 Green iguanas are an invasive species in Florida known for eating through landscaping and digging burrows that undermine infrastructure. CBS News, "Researchers taking controversial approach to rid Florida of invasive iguanas," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iguana.' 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 iguana

1555, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for iguana

Spanish, from Arawak & Carib iwana

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Statistics for iguana

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for iguana

The first known use of iguana was in 1555

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English Language Learners Definition of iguana

: a large lizard that lives in the tropical regions of Central and South America


igua·​na | \i-ˈgwä-nə \

Kids Definition of iguana

: a large tropical American lizard with a ridge of tall scales along its back

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More from Merriam-Webster on iguana

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with iguana

Spanish Central: Translation of iguana

Nglish: Translation of iguana for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about iguana

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a knickknack or trinket

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