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A mythical serpent or winged creature having a head at each end of its body.

[Middle English amphibena, from Latin amphisbaena, from Greek amphisbaina : amphis, both ways (from amphi-, amphi-) + bainein, to go; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.]

am′phis·bae′nic adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -nae (-niː) or -nas
1. (Animals) any worm lizard of the genus Amphisbaena
2. (Classical Myth & Legend) classical myth a poisonous serpent having a head at each end and able to move forwards or backwards
[C16: via Latin from Greek amphisbaina, from amphis both ways + bainein to go]
ˌamphisˈbaenic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.amphisbaena - (classical mythology) a serpent with a head at each end of its body
classical mythology - the system of mythology of the Greeks and Romans together; much of Roman mythology (especially the gods) was borrowed from the Greeks
mythical creature, mythical monster - a monster renowned in folklore and myth
2.amphisbaena - type genus of the AmphisbaenidaeAmphisbaena - type genus of the Amphisbaenidae  
reptile genus - a genus of reptiles
worm lizard - a lizard of the genus Amphisbaena; harmless wormlike limbless lizard of warm or tropical regions having concealed eyes and ears and a short blunt tail
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Her progressive Big Apple ken allows her to use "agency" as a social science term, along with "invidia" (empathy), "diplopia," "amphisbaena spines," "reflexive signifiers," "scudetto," and "affective fallacy." While distaste is expressed for the word "praxis," Pinoy words are all over the pages, un-italicized, leaving foreign readers the option of Googling exotic terms from "butaka" to "butanding," "saba" to "sundang.
For specimens from Minas Gerais state, parasites were collected during examination of gut content from three tegu lizards (Salvator merianae, Dumeril and Bibron, 1839), and during formalin injection in one lizard (Enyalius bilineatus, Dumeril and Bibron, 1837), one amphisbaenian (Amphisbaena alba, Linnaeus, 1758), and one snake (Xenopholis undulates, Jensen, 1900).
ovalis, Anomoeoneis sphaerophora, Aphanothece stagnina, Brebissonia boeckii, Caloneis amphisbaena, Calothrix scopulorum, Cocconeis placentula, Coleofasciculus chthonoplastes, Diatoma vulgaris, Ellerbeckia arenaria, Gomphonema parvulum, Lyngbya aestuarii, Melosira varians, Meridion circulare, Microcoleus autumnalis, Navicula salinarum, N.
This is applicable to Amphisbaena alba Linnaeus 1758, one of the most common and widely distributed amphisbaenids in South America east of the Andes (see Pinna et al.
Although there are a number of homeopathic medicines made from reptiles, including Amphisbaena vermicularis (snake lizard, which is actually not closely related to lizards), chameleon, gecko (which I had made into a homeopathic medicine) Heloderma horridus (Gila monster), Lazerta (green lizard), and, further afield, Tyrannosaurus rex (tyrant lizard king) and Maiasaurus (dinosaur, or, literally, "mother lizard.") However, there is no preparation, to my knowledge, made from any iguana.