\ ˈnüt How to pronounce newt (audio) , ˈnyüt \

Definition of newt

: any of various small salamanders (family Salamandridae) that are usually semiaquatic as adults

Illustration of newt

Illustration of newt

Examples of newt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The next road-crosser that night was a juvenile eastern newt, the length of a finger and luminously orange under headlamps. Brandon Keim, New York Times, "Coronavirus Lets Salamanders Own the Road," 18 May 2020 Unlike the long, narrowing tails of land-living dinosaurs, Spinosaurus’ rearmost appendage seemed built to whip back and forth like that of a crocodile or a newt—a theory that seemed borne out when the researchers modeled its motion in a water tank. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Groundbreaking Fossil Suggests Spinosaurus Is First Known Swimming Dinosaur," 30 Apr. 2020 People have been obsessed with amphibians for hundreds of years, from the witches in Macbeth brewing up eye of newt (spoiler: not actually newt eyeballs), to ancient Egyptians worshipping frogs. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "Welcome to Earth, home to human-sized salamanders and skin-eating worms," 22 Apr. 2020 The newt grinned, retracting his poisonous spines into his skin. Riane Konc, The New Yorker, "Aesop’s Fables Written After a Bad Breakup," 5 Feb. 2020 The Chinese fire belly newt (Cynops orientalis) lives up to its name with a vivid pattern of biofluorescence on its underside. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Salamanders and Frogs Light Up with Secret Superpower," 27 Feb. 2020 In response, the Iberian ribbed newt arched his back and tucked his head into his chest—sharp, spiny ribs coated in poison burst through his skin. Riane Konc, The New Yorker, "Aesop’s Fables Written After a Bad Breakup," 5 Feb. 2020 Wrapped around the silly storytelling is a score that may not include a signature tune but happily does not stem the momentum of a show that is already a few eye of newt too long. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Gifted cast makes ‘The Addams Family’ a treat at Welk Resort Theatre," 7 Sep. 2019 The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below: Eye of newt, toe of frog, voice of Bette. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hocus Pocus': THR's 1993 Review," 16 July 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for newt

Middle English, alteration (resulting from misdivision of an ewte) of ewte — more at eft

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Time Traveler for newt

Time Traveler

The first known use of newt was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Newt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for newt


How to pronounce newt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of newt

: a small animal that lives mostly in water and that has four short legs, a long, low body and tail, and soft, wet skin


\ ˈnüt How to pronounce newt (audio) , ˈnyüt \

Kids Definition of newt

: a small salamander that often lives on land but lays eggs in water

More from Merriam-Webster on newt

Nglish: Translation of newt for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about newt

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