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newt

[noot, nyoot]
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noun
  1. any of several brilliantly colored salamanders of the family Salamandridae, especially those of the genera Triturus and Notophthalmus, of North America, Europe, and northern Asia.
  2. any of various other small salamanders.

Origin of newt

1375–1425; late Middle English newte, for ewte (the phrase an ewte being taken as a newte; cf. nickname), variant of evet, Old English efete eft1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for newt

newt

noun
  1. any of various small semiaquatic urodele amphibians, such as Triturus vulgaris (common newt) of Europe, having a long slender body and tail and short feeble legs
  2. mainly British any other urodele amphibian, including the salamanders

Word Origin

C15: from a newt, a mistaken division of an ewt; ewt, from Old English eveta eft 1
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

Word Origin and History for newt

n.

early 15c., misdivision of an ewte (see N for other examples), from Middle English evete (see eft).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper