- any tailed amphibian of the order Caudata, having a soft, moist, scaleless skin, typically aquatic as a larva and semiterrestrial as an adult: several species are endangered.
- a mythical being, especially a lizard or other reptile, thought to be able to live in fire.
- any of various portable stoves or burners.
- Metallurgy. a mass of iron that accumulates at the bottom of a blast furnace as a result of the escape of molten metal through the hearth.
- a metal plate or disk with a handle, heated and held over pastry, casserole crusts, etc., to brown or glaze it.
- an oven usually heated from the top and bottom by gas, for cooking, browning, and glazing food.
Origin of salamander
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for salamander
Put crumbs of bread over it, and brown it with a salamander.The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;
Charlotte Campbell Bury
They may either be served up in this state, or in scallops, or put on the dish in a form, and the top browned with a salamander.
In the course of years one should become a sort of salamander.The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley
"You ought to have been a salamander," she laughed, washing his back.Sons and Lovers
David Herbert Lawrence
“It be de French for supper,” said Salamander, who overheard the question.The Big Otter
- any of various urodele amphibians, such as Salamandra salamandra (European fire salamander) of central and S Europe (family Salamandridae). They are typically terrestrial, have an elongated body, and only return to water to breed
- mainly US and Canadian any urodele amphibian
- a mythical reptile supposed to live in fire
- an elemental fire-inhabiting being
- any person or thing able to exist in fire or great heat
- metallurgy a residue of metal and slag deposited on the walls of a furnace
- a portable stove used to dry out a building under construction
Word Origin and History for salamander
mid-14c., "legendary lizard-like creature that can live in fire," from Old French salamandre "legendary fiery beast," also "cricket" (12c.), from Latin salamandra, from Greek salamandra, probably of eastern origin.
The application in zoology to a tailed amphibian (known natively as an eft or newt) is first recorded 1610s. Aristotle, and especially Pliny, are responsible for the fiction of an animal that thrives in and extinguishes fires. The eft lives in damp logs and secretes a milky substance when threatened, but there is no obvious natural explanation its connection with the myth.
Also used 18c. for "a woman who lives chastely in the midst of temptations" (after Addison), and "a soldier who exposes himself to fire in battle." To rub someone a salamander was a 19c. form of German student drinking toast (einem einen salamander reiben). Related: Salamandrine; salamandroid.