amphibian

An amphibian is a cold-blooded vertebrate animal that is born in water and breathes with gills. As the larva grows into its adult form, the animal's lungs develop the ability to breathe air, and the animal can live on land. Frogs, toads, and salamanders are all amphibians.

The word amphibian comes from the Greek word amphibios, which means "to live a double life." The noun amphibian has its roots in the words amphi, meaning "of both kinds," and bios, meaning "life." The word is used for the class of animals that spend part of their lives in water and part on land. The word can also be used as an adjective to describe the animals that live this way. You might be interested to know that the largest amphibian weighs about 140 pounds and the smallest weighs only a few grams.

Definitions of amphibian
  1. noun
    cold-blooded vertebrate typically living on land but breeding in water; aquatic larvae undergo metamorphosis into adult form
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    types:
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    Hynerpeton bassetti
    fossil amphibian of the Devonian having well-developed forelimbs; found in Pennsylvania
    Ichyostega
    early tetrapod amphibian found in Greenland
    caudate, urodele
    amphibians that resemble lizards
    salamander
    any of various typically terrestrial amphibians that resemble lizards and that return to water only to breed
    anuran, batrachian, frog, salientian, toad, toad frog
    any of various tailless stout-bodied amphibians with long hind limbs for leaping; semiaquatic and terrestrial species
    blindworm, caecilian
    any of the small slender limbless burrowing wormlike amphibians of the order Gymnophiona; inhabit moist soil in tropical regions
    labyrinthodont
    an amphibian of the superorder Labyrinthodontia
    European fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra
    a kind of European salamander
    Salamandra maculosa, fire salamander, spotted salamander
    European salamander having dark skin with usually yellow spots
    Salamandra atra, alpine salamander
    ovoviviparous amphibian of the Alps
    newt, triton
    small usually bright-colored semiaquatic salamanders of North America and Europe and northern Asia
    ambystomid, ambystomid salamander
    small to moderate-sized terrestrial or semiaquatic New World salamander
    Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, hellbender, mud puppy
    large salamander of North American rivers and streams
    Megalobatrachus maximus, giant salamander
    large (up to more than three feet) edible salamander of Asia
    Proteus anguinus, olm
    European aquatic salamander with permanent external gills that lives in caves
    Necturus maculosus, mud puppy
    aquatic North American salamander with red feathery external gills
    dicamptodon, dicamptodontid
    salamanders found near cold streams throughout the year
    Dicamptodon ensatus, Pacific giant salamander
    large (to 7 inches) salamander of western North America
    Rhyacotriton olympicus, olympic salamander
    small large-eyed semiaquatic salamander of the United States Northwest
    lungless salamander, plethodont
    mostly terrestrial salamanders that breathe through their thin moist skin; lay eggs in moist places on land; rarely enter water
    Plethodon cinereus, eastern red-backed salamander
    common salamander of eastern North America
    Plethodon vehiculum, western red-backed salamander
    salamander of the Pacific coast of North America
    dusky salamander
    common North American salamander mottled with dull brown or greyish-black
    climbing salamander
    any of several North American salamanders adapted for climbing with well-developed limbs and long somewhat squared-off toes
    slender salamander, worm salamander
    any of several small slim salamanders of the Pacific coast of the United States
    web-toed salamander
    any of several salamanders with webbed toes and very long extensile tongues; excellent climbers that move with ease over smooth rock surfaces
    amphiuma, blind eel, congo eel, congo snake
    aquatic eel-shaped salamander having two pairs of very small feet; of still muddy waters in the southern United States
    siren
    eellike aquatic North American salamander with small forelimbs and no hind limbs; have permanent external gills
    ranid, true frog
    insectivorous usually semiaquatic web-footed amphibian with smooth moist skin and long hind legs
    leptodactylid, leptodactylid frog
    toothed frogs: terrestrial or aquatic or arboreal
    robber frog
    small terrestrial frog of tropical America
    Hylactophryne augusti, barking frog, robber frog
    of southwest United States and Mexico; call is like a dog's bark
    Leptodactylus pentadactylus, South American bullfrog, crapaud
    large toothed frog of South America and Central America resembling the bullfrog
    tree frog, tree-frog
    any of various Old World arboreal frogs distinguished from true frogs by adhesive suckers on the toes
    Ascaphus trui, bell toad, ribbed toad, tailed frog, tailed toad
    western North American frog with a taillike copulatory organ
    Liopelma hamiltoni
    primitive New Zealand frog with four unwebbed toes on forefeet and five on hind feet
    true toad
    tailless amphibian similar to a frog but more terrestrial and having drier warty skin
    Alytes obstetricans, midwife toad, obstetrical toad
    European toad whose male carries the fertilized eggs wrapped around its hind legs until they hatch
    Alytes cisternasi, midwife toad
    similar in habit to Alytes obstetricians
    Bombina bombina, fire-bellied toad
    toad of central and eastern Europe having red or orange patches mixed with black on its underside
    spadefoot, spadefoot toad
    a burrowing toad of the northern hemisphere with a horny spade-like projection on each hind foot
    tree frog, tree toad, tree-frog
    arboreal amphibians usually having adhesive disks at the tip of each toe; of southeast Asia and Australia and America
    Gastrophryne olivacea, western narrow-mouthed toad
    small secretive toad with smooth tough skin of central and western North America
    Gastrophryne carolinensis, eastern narrow-mouthed toad
    small toad of southeastern United States
    sheep frog
    mostly of Central America
    tongueless frog
    almost completely aquatic frog native to Africa and Panama and northern South America
    South American poison toad
    a South American toad
    type of:
    craniate, vertebrate
    animals having a bony or cartilaginous skeleton with a segmented spinal column and a large brain enclosed in a skull or cranium
  2. adjective
    relating to or characteristic of animals of the class Amphibia
    synonyms: amphibious
  3. noun
    a flat-bottomed motor vehicle that can travel on land or water
    synonyms: amphibious vehicle
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    types:
    marsh buggy, swamp buggy
    an amphibious vehicle typically having four-wheel drive and a raised body
    type of:
    automotive vehicle, motor vehicle
    a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not run on rails
  4. noun
    an airplane designed to take off and land on water
    synonyms: amphibious aircraft
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    type of:
    aeroplane, airplane, plane
    an aircraft that has a fixed wing and is powered by propellers or jets
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