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[am-fuh s-bee-nuh] /ˌæm fəsˈbi nə/
noun, plural amphisbaenae
[am-fuh s-bee-nee] /ˌæm fəsˈbi ni/ (Show IPA),
any of numerous worm lizards of the genus Amphisbaena.
Classical Mythology. a serpent having a head at each end of its body and the ability to move forward or backward.
Origin of amphisbaena
1350-1400; Middle English amphibena < New Latin, Latin < Greek amphísbaina a serpent that moves forward or backward, equivalent to amphís both ways + baín(ein) to go + -a noun suffix
Related forms
amphisbaenian, amphisbaenic, amphisbaenoid, amphisbaenous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for amphisbaena


noun (pl) -nae (-niː), -nas
any worm lizard of the genus Amphisbaena
(classical myth) a poisonous serpent having a head at each end and able to move forwards or backwards
Derived Forms
amphisbaenic, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek amphisbaina, from amphis both ways + bainein to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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