- 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
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Examples from the Web for amphisbaena
The amphisbaena, supposed to have a head at each end and move either way.The Works of Lucian of Samosata, v. 4
Lucian of Samosata
- 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
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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012