1. 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.
3. An object, such as a poker, used in fire or capable of withstanding heat.
4. Metallurgy A mass of solidified material, largely metallic, left in a blast-furnace hearth.
5. A portable stove used to heat or dry buildings under construction.
[Middle English salamandre, from Old French, from Latin salamandra, from Greek.]
sal′a·mandrine (-drĭn) adj.
(click for a larger image)salamander
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.