- a mythological reptile, resembling the lizard, that was said to live in fire
- a spirit supposed to live in fire: orig., a spirit in Paracelsus' alchemical system
- any of various articles used in fire or able to produce or withstand heat, as a poker, portable oven, or a utensil for browning pastry
- any of an order (Caudata) of limbed, tailed amphibians with a soft, moist skin
Origin of salamanderMiddle English salamandre from Old French from Classical Latin salamandra from Classical Greek
- Any of various small, tailed amphibians of the order Caudata, having porous scaleless skin and usually two pairs of limbs of equal size, found chiefly in northern temperate regions.
- a. A mythical creature, generally resembling a lizard, believed capable of living in or withstanding fire.b. In the occult philosophy of Paracelsus, a being having fire as its element.
- An object, such as a poker, used in fire or capable of withstanding heat.
- Metallurgy A mass of solidified material, largely metallic, left in a blast-furnace hearth.
- A portable stove used to heat or dry buildings under construction.
Origin of salamanderMiddle English salamandre from Old French from Latin salamandra from Greek
- A long slender (usually) terrestrial amphibian, resembling a lizard and newt; taxonomic order Urodela
- (mythology) A creature much like a lizard that is resistant to and lives in fire, hence the elemental being of fire.
- (cooking) A metal utensil with a flat head which is heated and put over a dish to brown the top.
- 1977: The salamander, a fairly long metal utensil with a flat rounded head, was left in the fire until red hot and then used to brown the top of a dish without further cooking. — Richard Daunton-Fear and Penelope Vigar, Australian Colonial Cookery, Rigby, 1977, ISBN 0-7270-0187-6, page 41 (discussing 19th century cookery)
- (cooking) In a professional kitchen a small broiler, used primarily for browning.
- The chef first put the steak under the salamander to sear the outside.
- The pouched gopher (Geomys tuza) of the southern United States.
- (metallurgy) Solidified material in a furnace hearth.
(third-person singular simple present salamanders, present participle salamandering, simple past and past participle salamandered)
- To apply a salamander (flat iron utensil above) in a cooking process.
- 19th C.: When cold, sprinkle the custard thickly with sugar and salamander it. — a 19th century crème brûlée recipe quoted in Richard Daunton-Fear and Penelope Vigar, Australian Colonial Cookery, Rigby, 1977, ISBN 0-7270-0187-6, page 41
From Old French salamandre, from Latin salamandra, from Ancient Greek σαλαμάνδρα (salamandra), of uncertain origin.