[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. amphiploid,
  2. amphipod,
  3. amphipodous,
  4. amphiprostyle,
  5. amphiprotic,
  6. amphiscians,
  7. amphistomatal,
  8. amphistome,
  9. amphistomous,
  10. amphistylar

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 formsam·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 Formsamphisbaenic, 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