[ am-fuh s-bee-nuh ]
/ ˌæm fəsˈbi nə /

noun, plural am·phis·bae·nae [am-fuh s-bee-nee] /ˌæm fəsˈbi ni/, am·phis·bae·nas.

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

am·phis·bae·ni·an, am·phis·bae·nic, am·phis·bae·noid, am·phis·bae·nous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for amphisbaena

British Dictionary definitions for amphisbaena


/ (ˌæmfɪsˈbiːnə) /

noun plural -nae (-niː) or -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 for amphisbaena

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