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[ih-gwah-nuh] /ɪˈgwɑ nə/
a large, arboreal lizard, Iguana iguana, native to Central and South America, having stout legs and a crest of spines from neck to tail.
any of various related lizards of the genera Iguana, Ctenosaura, Conolophus, and Amblyrhynchus.
Origin of iguana
1545-55; < Spanish < Arawak iwana Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for iguana
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • First one paw and then another relaxed, until, with a thud, the coati and iguana struck the ground together both stone-dead.

    The Inca Emerald Samuel Scoville
  • The colour of the iguana changes, like that of the chameleon.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • I was therefore obliged to order the removal of the entrées of iguana and bats before we could proceed with the repast.

    Adventures in the Philippine Islands Paul P. de La Gironire
  • A lizard or iguana calls for a further exercise of culinary knowledge.

    Spinifex and Sand David W Carnegie
  • Parrots jabbered and a few of them roosted in the iguana tree.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • One in my possession has engraven on it the figure of an iguana.

    Evolution in Art Alfred C. Haddon
  • In the tree behind Fernando, the iguana decided to climb higher, its head waggling, tongue forking.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • On the left is the picture of a vessel with Kan and the iguana.

  • The girls had a great scare the first time they came upon an iguana, thinking that it was a crocodile.

    Out on the Pampas G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for iguana


either of two large tropical American arboreal herbivorous lizards of the genus Iguana, esp I. iguana (common iguana), having a greyish-green body with a row of spines along the back: family Iguanidae
Also called iguanid (ɪˈɡwɑːnɪd). any other lizard of the tropical American family Iguanidae
another name for leguaan
Derived Forms
iguanian, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish, from Arawak iwana
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 iguana

1550s, from Spanish, from Arawakan (W.Indies) iguana, iwana, the local name for the lizard.

Foure footed beastes ... named Iuannas, muche lyke vnto Crocodiles, of eyght foote length, of moste pleasaunte taste. [Richard Eden, "Decades of the New World," 1555]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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