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AM'PE-LITE, n. [Gr. αμπελος, a vine. The name of an earth used to kill worms on vines. Pliny says it is like bitumen. Lib. 35, 16.]

Cannel coal, or candle coal; an inflammable substance of a black color, compact texture, and resinous luster, and sufficiently hard to be cut and polished. It burns with a bright flame, of a short duration, and gives but a moderate heat. It is used like jet for making toys. It is found in France and England, where husbandman smear vines with it to kill vermin. – Encyc. Cleaveland.

AM-PHIB'I-AL, or AM-PHIB'I-AN, n. [or AM-PHIB'I-A. Gr. αμφι, both or about, and βιος, life.]

In zoology, amphibials are a class of animals, so formed as to live on land, and for a long time under water. Their heart has but one ventricle; their blood is red and cold; and they have such command of the lungs, as for a considerable time to suspend respiration. This class of animals is divided into two orders, the Reptiles and the Serpents. To the first belong the Testudo or tortoise, the Draco or dragon, the Lacerta or lizard, and the Rana or frog; to the second, the Crotalus, Boa, Coluber, Anguis; Amphisbena, and Cecilia. – Linn. The term has also been applied to such quadrupeds as frequent the water, particularly the marine quadrupeds, such as the seal, walrus and lamantin. – Encyc.

AM-PHIB'I-O-LITE, n. [Gr. αμφιβιος, amphibious, and λιθος, stone.]

A fragment of a petrified amphibious animal. – Dict. of Nat. Hist.

AM-PHIB-I-O-LOG'IC-AL, a. [Infra.]

Pertaining to amphibiology.

AM-PHIB-I-OL'OGY, n. [Gr. αμφι, on both sides, βιος, life, and λογος, discourse.]

A discourse or treatise on amphibious animals, or the history and description of such animals.

AM-PHIB'I-OUS, a. [See Amphibial.]

  1. Having the poorer of living in two elements, air and water, as frogs, crocodiles, beavers, and the like.
  2. Of a mixed nature; partaking of two natures; as, an amphibious breed.


The quality of being able to live in two elements, or of partaking of two natures.


That which lives in two elements, as in air and water.

AM'PHI-BOLE, n. [Gr. αμφιβολος, equivocal; αμφι and βαλλω.]

A name given by Haüy to a species of minerals, including the Tremolite, Hornblend, and Actinolite. Its primitive form is an oblique rhombic prism. – Cleaveland.


Pertaining to amphibole; resembling amphibole, or partaking of its nature and characters. – Cooper.


Doubtful; of doubtful meaning.


With a doubtful meaning.

AM-PHIB-OL'O-GY, n. [Gr. αμφι, βαλλω and λογος, speech, αμφιβολογια.]

A phrase or discourse, susceptible of two interpretations; and hence, a phrase of uncertain meaning. Amphibology arises from the order of the phrase, rather than from the ambiguous meaning of a word, which is called equivocation. We have an example in the answer of the oracle to Pyrrhus. “Aio te Romanos vincere posse.” Here te and Romanos, may either of them precede or follow vincere posse, and the sense may be either, you may conquer the Romans, or the Romans may conquer you. The English language seldom admits of amphibology. – Encyc. Johnson.

AM-PHIB'O-LOUS, a. [Gr. αμφιβολος, αμφι and βαλλω, to strike.]

Tossed from one to another; striking each way, with mutual blows. [Little used.]

AM-PHIB'O-LY, n. [Gr. αμφιβολια, αμφι, both ways, and βαλλω, to strike.]

Ambiguity of meaning. [Rarely used.] – Spelman.

AM'PHI-BRACH, n. [Gr. αμφι, and βραχυς, short.]

In poetry, a foot of three syllables, the middle one long, the first and last short; as hăbērĕ, in Latin. In English verse, it is used as the last foot, when a syllable is added to the usual number forming a double thyme; as, The piece, you think, is incorrect, why take it? – Pope. Trumbull.

AM'PHI-CO-ME, n. [Gr. αμφι and κομη, hair.]

A kind of figured stone, of a round shape, but rugged and beset with eminences; called Erotylos, on account of its supposed power of exciting love. Anciently, it was used in divination; but it is little known to the moderns. – Encyc.


Pertaining to the august council of Amphictyons.


In Grecian history, an assembly or council of deputies from the different states of Greece, supposed to be so called from Amphictyon, the son of Deucalion, but this opinion is probably a fable. Ten or twelve states were represented in this assembly, which sat alternately at Thermopylae and at Delphi. Each city sent two deputies, one called Hieromnemon and the other Pylagoras. The former inspected the sacrifices and ceremonies of religion; the latter had the charge of deciding causes and differences between private persons. The former was elected by lot; the latter by a plurality of voices. They had an equal right to deliberate and vote in all matters relating to the common interests of Greece. – Paus. Prin. Strabo. Encyc.

AM-PHIG'A-MOUS, a. [Gr. αμφι and γαμος.]

An epithet applied to plants that have no sexual organs. – Brande.

AM'PHI-GENE, n. [Gr. αμφι and γενος.]

In mineralogy, another name of the leucite or Vesuvian.

AM-PHI-HEX-A-HE'DRAL, a. [Gr. αμφι, and hexahedral.]

In crystalography, when the faces of the crystal, counted in two different directions, give two hexahedral outlines, or are found to be six in number. – Cleaveland.

AM-PHIM'A-CER, n. [Gr. αμφιμακρος, long on both sides.]

In ancient poetry, a foot of three syllables, the middle one short and the others long, as in cāstĭtās.

AM'PHI-PODE, n. [Gr. αμφι and πους.]

  1. [1844] One of an order of crustaceous animals, with subcaudal natatory feet and sessile eyes.
  2. [1841] One of an order of malacostracous crustaceous animals.

AM-PHI-PRO'STYLE, n. [Gr. αμφι, προ, before, and στυλος, a column.]

A double prostyle, or an edifice with columns in front and behind. – Morin.