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[am-uh-zon, -zuh n] /ˈæm əˌzɒn, -zən/
a river in N South America, flowing E from the Peruvian Andes through N Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean: the largest river in the world in volume of water carried. 3900 miles (6280 km) long.
Classical Mythology. one of a nation of female warriors said to dwell near the Black Sea.
one of a fabled tribe of female warriors in South America.
(often lowercase) a tall, powerful, aggressive woman.
any of several green parrots of the genus Amazona, of tropical America, often kept as pets.
the brand name of a retail website, launched in 1995, that has expanded to include cloud computing and other services.
Origin of Amazon
< Latin Amazōn < Greek Amazṓn, of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for amazon river
Historical Examples
  • There's one much deeper than that near the mouth of the amazon river.

  • Much of it, including the greater part of the amazon river basin, is unfit for the growth of food-stuffs.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway
  • Scientists have found over two thousand species of fish in the amazon river alone.

    Equatorial America Maturin M. Ballou
  • When they had crossed the amazon river, some of the band stopped in places that seemed inviting.

    Bird Stories Edith M. Patch
British Dictionary definitions for amazon river


any of various tropical American parrots of the genus Amazona, such as A. farinosa (green amazon), having a short tail and mainly green plumage


(Greek myth) one of a race of women warriors of Scythia near the Black Sea
one of a legendary tribe of female warriors of South America
(often not capital) any tall, strong, or aggressive woman
Derived Forms
Amazonian (ˌæməˈzəʊnɪən) adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek Amazōn, of uncertain origin


a river in South America, rising in the Peruvian Andes and flowing east through N Brazil to the Atlantic: in volume, the largest river in the world; navigable for 3700 km (2300 miles). Length: over 6440 km (4000 miles). Area of basin: over 5 827 500 sq km (2 250 000 sq miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amazon river



late 14c., from Greek Amazon (mostly in plural Amazones) "one of a race of female warriors in Scythia," probably from an unknown non-Indo-European word, possibly from an Iranian compound *ha-maz-an- "(one) fighting together" [Watkins], but in folk etymology long derived from a- "without" + mazos "breasts," hence the story that the Amazons cut or burned off one breast so they could draw bowstrings more efficiently.

The river in South America (originally called by the Spanish Rio Santa Maria de la Mar Dulce) rechristened by Francisco de Orellana, 1541, after an encounter with female warriors of the Tapuyas (or, as some say, beardless, long-haired male tribesmen; still others hold that the name is a corruption of a native word in Tupi or Guarani meaning "wave").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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amazon river in Culture

Amazon River definition

River in South America with headwaters in northern Peru. It flows across northern Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean.

Note: The world's second-longest river, after the Nile, it flows nearly four thousand miles and carries more water than any other river in the world.
Note: It was named after the Amazons, legendary female warriors.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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