Meaning of caecilian in English:


Pronunciation /sɪˈsɪlɪən/

See synonyms for caecilian on


(also coecilian)
  • A burrowing wormlike amphibian of a tropical order distinguished by poorly developed eyes and the lack of limbs.

    Order Gymnophiona (or Apoda): five families

    ‘Some not-so-familiar creatures, like the legless, burrowing caecilians, are also amphibians.’
    • ‘Although they are amphibians, caecilians are denizens of the terrestrial underworld.’
    • ‘While burrowing, caecilians employ concertina locomotion, lateral undulation, and vermiform locomotion.’
    • ‘In contrast to frogs, caecilians have a radically elongated vertebral column, no limbs or girdles, and relatively elaborate hypaxial musculature.’
    • ‘The oldest known frogs, salamanders and caecilians are very similar to their living descendants.’


From modern Latin Caecilia (genus name), from Latin caecilia ‘slow-worm’, + -an.