Gr. & Rom. Myth. a serpent with a head at each end of its body
Origin of amphisbaenaMiddle English amphibena ; from Classical Latin amphisbaena ; from Classical Greek amphisbaina ; from amphis, on both sides (see amphi-) + bainein, to go: see come
A mythical serpent or winged creature having a head at each end of its body.
Origin of amphisbaenaMiddle English amphibena, from Latin amphisbaena, from Greek amphisbaina : amphis, both ways (from amphi-, amphi-) + bainein, to go; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.
- A mythical serpent having a head at each end of its body, able to move in either direction.
- 1971: What do you call that animal that goes backward and forward, head at each end? —Amphisbaena. A kind of lizard. It doesn't exist. — Anthony Burgess, M/F (Penguin 2004, p. 109)
- (zoology) A genus of lizards, native to the Americas, having extremities which are very similar.
From Latin amphisbaena, from Ancient Greek ἀμφίσβαινα, from ἀμφίς ‘both ways’ + βαίνω ‘I go’.