igua·​na | \ i-ˈgwä-nə How to pronounce iguana (audio) \

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 Female iguanas can lay nearly 80 eggs a year, and South Florida’s warm climate is perfect for the prehistoric-looking animals. Time, "Florida Weather Alert Warns of 'Falling Iguanas'," 22 Jan. 2020 Within a year, the spill had caused the island’s native iguana population to fall by 62 percent—from 25,000 to 10,000—according to a Princeton University study. Popular Science, "Even with international protections, the Galápagos Islands are becoming more vulnerable to humans," 21 Jan. 2020 The behavior is something called apparent death, and TONS of species use it as a defense mechanism—plenty of amphibians, iguanas, sharks, pigeons, chickens, butterflies, beetles, ants, bees, stick bugs... Popular Science, "There was only ever one true Ferris Wheel, and we blew it up," 11 Mar. 2020 And people in South Florida are warned to be on guard against falling iguanas, as temperatures reach unusual lows. CNN, "CNN 10 - January 23, 2020," 22 Jan. 2020 The contamination last January killed fish, frogs, iguanas, even a manatee. Larry Barszewski, sun-sentinel.com, "Massive sewage spill leads to $200,000 in fines and a river of doubts," 7 Dec. 2019 South Florida residents woke up to an unusual warning Wednesday — beware the falling iguanas. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, "Beware of 'falling iguanas': Cold weather in South Florida spurs unusual forecast," 22 Jan. 2020 About six months into Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk’s engagement—long after memories of the lurking iguanas and sandy daybeds of Bachelor in Paradise had washed away—the private messages started pouring in. Thea Glassman, Glamour, "They Didn’t Find Love on The Bachelor. Now They’re Relationship Experts," 9 Mar. 2020 In Punch, Noah Arenstein explains why this traditional spirit might be flying off the rails, as producers eschew the traditional poultry and instead add ingredients like pineapple and mango and even iguana and snake. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Yes, restaurant wine lists are confusing, but occasionally they get it right," 23 Jan. 2020

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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The first known use of iguana was in 1555

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Cite this Entry

“Iguana.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iguana. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for iguana


How to pronounce iguana (audio)

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 How to pronounce iguana (audio) \

Kids Definition of iguana

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

More from Merriam-Webster on iguana

Nglish: Translation of iguana for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about iguana

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