from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cold-blooded, smooth-skinned vertebrate of the class Amphibia, such as a frog or salamander, that characteristically hatches as an aquatic larva with gills. The larva then transforms into an adult having air-breathing lungs.
  • n. An animal capable of living both on land and in water.
  • n. An aircraft that can take off and land on either land or water.
  • n. A tracked or wheeled vehicle that can operate both on land and in water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having two natures.
  • adj. Pertaining to the Amphibia.
  • n. An animal of the Amphibia; any four-legged vertebrate that does not have amniotic eggs, living both on land and in water.
  • n. A vehicle which can operate on land and water.
  • adj. Of or relating to the amphibians Amphibia.
  • adj. Capable of operating on both land and water amphibious.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Amphibia.
  • n. One of the Amphibia.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to amphibia in any sense; specifically, pertaining to the class Amphibia. See amphibious, 2.
  • n. An animal of the class Amphibia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a flat-bottomed motor vehicle that can travel on land or water
  • n. cold-blooded vertebrate typically living on land but breeding in water; aquatic larvae undergo metamorphosis into adult form
  • adj. relating to or characteristic of animals of the class Amphibia
  • n. an airplane designed to take off and land on water


From New Latin Amphibia, class name, from Greek, neuter pl. of amphibios, amphibious : amphi-, amphi- + bios, life.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀμφίβιον (amphibion), from ἀμφί (amphi, "of both kinds") + βίος (bios, "life") (Wiktionary)


  • The word amphibian comes from the Greek amphibios meaning "both lives".


  • "As you erudite people well know, the word amphibian comes from the Greek amphi and bios, meaning to live a double life.

    Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

  • Moore says what's unique about this Australian amphibian is its way of breeding.

    Hunt for Missing Frogs Leaps Across 5 Continents

  • Colombia is one of the world’s richest countries in amphibian diversity with more than 583 species.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • These sorts of inductions can occur in amphibian creatures simply by placing the animals in water that has been previously used by their predators!

    Protein-protein Interactions

  • A black, non-troglomorphic amphibian from the karst of Slovenia: Proteus anguinus parkelj n. ssp.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • The name amphibian is derived from the Ancient Greek word 'amphibios' meaning living a dual life.


  • But they say decades of data show only that some correlation exists between rising air temperatures and Latin American amphibian extinctions-and that data are well short of proving causation.


  • And these planes are properly called amphibian planes because they can land and take off both from the sea and the land, as they have these special landing gear which retract into the body of the aircraft.

    CNN Transcript Dec 19, 2005

  • The amphibian was a mass of muscle, so wide that the mind made the creature shorter than it was.



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