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[am-fib-ee-uh s] /æmˈfɪb i əs/
living or able to live both on land and in water; belonging to both land and water.
Also, amphibian. capable of operating on both land and water:
amphibious vehicles.
of or relating to military operations by both land and naval forces against the same object, especially to a military attack by troops landed by naval ships.
trained or organized to fight, or fighting, on both land and sea:
amphibious troops.
combining two qualities, kinds, traits, etc.; of or having a mixed or twofold nature.
Origin of amphibious
1635-45; < Latin amphibius < Greek amphíbios living a double life. See amphi-, bio-, -ous
Related forms
amphibiously, adverb
amphibiousness, noun
nonamphibious, adjective
nonamphibiously, adverb
nonamphibiousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for amphibious
  • Mosses are the amphibious descendants of aquatic algae.
  • But, alone among the sea snakes, they are amphibious and able to spend up to ten days at a time on land.
  • In winter, it can glide over snow and ice while pulled by amphibious tractors.
  • Keen's water-ready version of their bestselling amphibious sandal.
  • They are so fond of water as to be almost amphibious.
  • He would pick up punters in an amphibious vehicle, show them the sights and give them a pleasant cruise.
  • The two countries practised blockades, capturing airfields and amphibious landings.
  • amphibious ships are multi-capable, agile, and responsive to the dynamic nature of the security era.
British Dictionary definitions for amphibious


able to live both on land and in the water, as frogs, toads, etc
designed for operation on or from both water and land
relating to military forces and equipment organized for operations launched from the sea against an enemy shore
having a dual or mixed nature
Derived Forms
amphibiously, adverb
amphibiousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Greek amphibios, literally: having a double life, from amphi- + bios life
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
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Word Origin and History for amphibious

1640s, from Greek amphibios "having a double life" (see amphibian). Of motor vehicles, from 1915.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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