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[ih-gwah-nuh] /ɪˈgwɑ nə/
a large, arboreal lizard, Iguana iguana, native to Central and South America, having stout legs and a crest of spines from neck to tail.
any of various related lizards of the genera Iguana, Ctenosaura, Conolophus, and Amblyrhynchus.
Origin of iguana
1545-55; < Spanish < Arawak iwana Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for iguana
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The colour of the iguana changes, like that of the chameleon.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • The white and juicy flesh of the iguana was quite a feast for us all.

  • We found he had just discovered the nest of an iguana, filled with eggs.

    On the Banks of the Amazon W.H.G. Kingston
  • Stephens relates how his men found an iguana in one of the ruins in a crevice.

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
  • A lizard or iguana calls for a further exercise of culinary knowledge.

    Spinifex and Sand David W Carnegie
  • He uttered the cry of the iguana, and swam towards the bank.

    The Tiger-Slayer Gustave Aimard
  • Parrots jabbered and a few of them roosted in the iguana tree.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • Manuel, squatting on his heels, turned the iguana over a tiny fire.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • One in my possession has engraven on it the figure of an iguana.

    Evolution in Art Alfred C. Haddon
British Dictionary definitions for iguana


either of two large tropical American arboreal herbivorous lizards of the genus Iguana, esp I. iguana (common iguana), having a greyish-green body with a row of spines along the back: family Iguanidae
Also called iguanid (ɪˈɡwɑːnɪd). any other lizard of the tropical American family Iguanidae
another name for leguaan
Derived Forms
iguanian, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish, from Arawak iwana
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 iguana

1550s, from Spanish, from Arawakan (W.Indies) iguana, iwana, the local name for the lizard.

Foure footed beastes ... named Iuannas, muche lyke vnto Crocodiles, of eyght foote length, of moste pleasaunte taste. [Richard Eden, "Decades of the New World," 1555]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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