Definition of salamander in English:



  • 1A newt-like amphibian that typically has bright markings, once thought able to endure fire.

    • ‘Direct development and viviparity have evolved in all three groups of Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders and caecilians.’
    • ‘Scientists like Shubin, Gao, and Carroll say they are attracted to the study of salamanders because the amphibians give them a window to see how evolutionary mechanisms work.’
    • ‘Viable woodlands are just as critical as clean waters for frogs, toads, turtles, salamanders, newts, and many species of reptiles.’
    • ‘A number of salamanders, such as the North American ‘mudpuppy’ and the Mexican axolotl, develop legs but retain their larval gills and stay in the water throughout their lifetimes.’
    • ‘Around 5,000 amphibian species, including frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders are thought to exist today.’
    • ‘As frogs, toads, salamanders, and snakes emerge from hibernation, encourage them to stay around your garden and help control pests.’
    • ‘While salamanders with ballistic tongue projection rarely miss their target, frogs that use ballistic projection can be highly inaccurate.’
    • ‘The study finds 122 species of frogs, toads, salamanders and legless amphibians have probably become extinct since 1980 and warns that a third of all amphibian species currently face the same fate.’
    • ‘Since salamanders are amphibians, their skins are sensitive to being dried out; therefore they are found in or near water and damp places.’
    • ‘To avoid predators, some animals - like some snakes, salamanders or frogs - restrict their movements under a full moon and tend to hunt more on moonless nights.’
    • ‘By one count, 1 in 3 of the 5,743 known species of frog, toad, salamander, and other amphibians are dwindling.’
    • ‘Like the majority of frogs and toads, many salamanders undergo an obligate metamorphosis that allows for the exploitation of both aquatic and terrestrial habitats during ontogeny.’
    • ‘Interestingly, while some amphibians like newts and salamanders are very effective at regenerating limbs, they are not as effective at regenerating tissue to repair damaged internal organs.’
    • ‘The familiar frogs, toads, and salamanders have been present since at least the Jurassic Period.’
    • ‘The ‘true salamanders’ tend to be smooth skinned, while the newts are unlike all other salamanders in having rough skin that is not slimy.’
    • ‘Both salamanders and Hamilton's frogs care for eggs and young.’
    • ‘These salamanders undergo a typical amphibian life cycle, wherein they hatch from the egg in an aquatic-larval form and eventually undergo a metamorphosis through which they achieve a terrestrial adult form.’
    • ‘Gardener snakes, grass snakes, ground beetles, box turtles, salamanders, ducks, and larvae of lightning bugs all feed on snails.’
    • ‘Amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders are undergoing rapid population declines, most likely due to fungal disease, climate change, habitat loss, and pollution.’
    • ‘Their steep slopes are the nearest thing to a rainforest in Europe, overflowing with springs and pools which are home to salamanders and newts.’
  • 2A mythical lizard-like creature said to live in fire or to be able to withstand its effects.

    1. 2.1An elemental spirit living in fire.
  • 3A metal plate heated and placed over food to brown it.

    • ‘Place gratineed stacks under a salamander or broiler until top is browned.’
    • ‘If you don't own a 1.75m tall machine from Catalonia but have a large enough salamander you can mimic, but not match, this method by grilling entire joints: legs of lamb, ribs of beef, suckling pigs, etc.’
    • ‘Remove from oven and place under salamander until golden brown.’
    • ‘Remove pork from cooking liquid, cut into cubes and heat under salamander or broiler until sizzling.’
  • 4archaic A red-hot iron or poker.


Middle English (in salamander): from Old French salamandre, via Latin from Greek salamandra. Sense 1 dates from the early 17th century.