amphisbaena

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Amphisbaena type genus of the Amphisbaenidae
    • n amphisbaena (classical mythology) a serpent with a head at each end of its body
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n amphisbaena A fabulous venomous serpent supposed to have a head at each end and to be able to move in either direction.
    • n amphisbaena [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of lizards distinguished by the obtuseness of the head and tail, typical of the family Amphisbænidæ. The species, inhabiting tropical South America and the West Indies, are sluggish and mostly nocturnal, of snake-like aspect from the absence of limbs, and able to move either backward or forward.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Amphisbaena am-fis-bē′na a family of lizard-snakes, chiefly found in tropical America, which have their tails so rounded as to give them the appearance of having a head at both ends
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. amphisbainaamphi, amphis, both ways, and bain-ein, to go.

Usage

In literature:

AMPHISBAENA, a genus of limbless lizards; a serpent fabled to have two heads and to be able to move backward or forward.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
Lucien then told l'Encuerado about the magpie and the amphisbaena.
"Adventures of a Young Naturalist" by Lucien Biart
Amphisbaena serpent, I, 31.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II)" by Augustus de Morgan
In Greek mythology the amphisbaena was a serpent believed to possess two heads.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 2" by Various
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