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What does the word "Amphibian" really mean?

am·phib·i·an (m-fb-n)

  1. 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.

  2. An animal capable of living both on land and in water.

  3. An aircraft that can take off and land on either land or water.

  4. A tracked or wheeled vehicle that can operate both on land and in water.

[From New Latin Amphibia, class name, from Greek, neuter pl. of amphibios, amphibious: amphi-, amphi- + bios, life; see gwei- in Indo-European Roots.]

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

amphibian \Am*phib"i*an\ (-an), a. (Zo["o]l.) Of or pertaining to the Amphibia; as, amphibian reptiles.

amphibian \Am*phib"i*an\, n. (Zo["o]l.) One of the Amphibia.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary

amphibian adj : relating to or characteristic of animals of the class Amphibia [syn: amphibious] n 1: a flat-bottomed motor vehicle that can travel on land or water [syn: amphibious vehicle] 2: designed to take off and land on water [syn: amphibious aircraft] 3: cold-blooded vertebrate typically living on land but breeding in water; aquatic larvae undergo metamorphosis into adult form

Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

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