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noun rep·tile \ˈrep-ˌtī(-ə)l, -təl\

: an animal (such as a snake, lizard, turtle, or alligator) that has cold blood, that lays eggs, and that has a body covered with scales or hard parts

: a person who cannot be trusted or who is not likable

Full Definition of REPTILE

:  an animal that crawls or moves on its belly (as a snake) or on small short legs (as a lizard)
:  any of a class (Reptilia) of air-breathing vertebrates that include the alligators and crocodiles, lizards, snakes, turtles, and extinct related forms (as dinosaurs and pterosaurs) and are characterized by a completely ossified skeleton with a single occipital condyle, a distinct quadrate bone usually immovably articulated with the skull, ribs attached to the sternum, and a body usually covered with scales or bony plates
:  a groveling or despised person

Examples of REPTILE

  1. He called the governor's top aide a reptile.
  2. <the actor plays a total reptile who's somehow still a hit with the ladies>

Origin of REPTILE

Middle English reptil, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French reptile (feminine), from Late Latin reptile (neuter), from neuter of reptilis creeping, from Latin reptus, past participle of repere to crawl; akin to Lithuanian rėplioti to crawl
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to REPTILE



Definition of REPTILE

:  characteristic of a reptile :  reptilian

First Known Use of REPTILE

REPTILES Defined for Kids


noun rep·tile \ˈrep-təl, -ˌtīl\

Definition of REPTILE for Kids

:  a cold-blooded animal (as a snake, lizard, turtle, or alligator) that breathes air and usually has the skin covered with scales or bony plates

Word History of REPTILE

Most of the animals we call reptiles creep or crawl about. Some, like snakes, crawl about on their bellies. Some, like lizards, creep about on little, short legs. The English word reptile came from a Latin word reptilis that meant creeping, which is derived from the verb repere meaning to crawl.


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