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[am-fib-ee-uh s] /æmˈfɪb i əs/
living or able to live both on land and in water; belonging to both land and water.
Also, amphibian. capable of operating on both land and water:
amphibious vehicles.
of or relating to military operations by both land and naval forces against the same object, especially to a military attack by troops landed by naval ships.
trained or organized to fight, or fighting, on both land and sea:
amphibious troops.
combining two qualities, kinds, traits, etc.; of or having a mixed or twofold nature.
Origin of amphibious
1635-45; < Latin amphibius < Greek amphíbios living a double life. See amphi-, bio-, -ous
Related forms
amphibiously, adverb
amphibiousness, noun
nonamphibious, adjective
nonamphibiously, adverb
nonamphibiousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for amphibious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The main theatre is where the amphibious power wishes to make it so.

  • A walrus spouts much like a whale, but the walrus is not a fish, because he is amphibious.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville
  • The lances used by them were pointed with the teeth of these amphibious animals.

  • Seals of amphibious nature, are either for the land or water.

    Orthography Elmer W. Cavins
  • But I well knew that these amphibious monsters can far outswim a man.

    Ran Away to Sea Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for amphibious


able to live both on land and in the water, as frogs, toads, etc
designed for operation on or from both water and land
relating to military forces and equipment organized for operations launched from the sea against an enemy shore
having a dual or mixed nature
Derived Forms
amphibiously, adverb
amphibiousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Greek amphibios, literally: having a double life, from amphi- + bios life
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 amphibious

1640s, from Greek amphibios "having a double life" (see amphibian). Of motor vehicles, from 1915.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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