her·​pe·​tol·​o·​gy ˌhər-pə-ˈtä-lə-jē How to pronounce herpetology (audio)
: a branch of zoology dealing with reptiles and amphibians
herpetological adjective
herpetologist noun

Examples of herpetology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Easily identifiable by large dark diamonds with brown centers and cream borders down its back and its distinct tail rattle, the rattlesnake is found throughout every county in Florida, according to the Florida Museum's herpetology page. Cara Tabachnick, CBS News, 19 Sep. 2023 Amphibians and reptiles, commonly called herps (as in herpetology, based on the Greek root herpet which means creeping), includes animals that hop and slither too, like frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, snakes, lizards, and turtles, to name a few. Caren Cooper, Discover Magazine, 4 Aug. 2015 Building communities around herpetology research will help citizen science projects reach their full potential in herp conservation. Caren Cooper, Discover Magazine, 4 Aug. 2015 Melissa Hodges with the zoo's herpetology department said the smallest of the tortoises weighs around 25 pounds, while the biggest scales up to 220 pounds. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 7 Apr. 2023 Xavier Glaudas, a postdoc at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and herpetology lab director Graham Alexander didn't set out to study any bizarre new snake behaviors. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 7 Feb. 2017 Matthew Fujita, a UTA biology professor and the center’s curator of herpetology, uses the collection to study parthenogenesis, a wacky way that certain female whiptail lizards reproduce by cloning themselves. Dallas News, 3 Nov. 2022 Vonk specializes in herpetology, and will list the top 50 most iconic and venomous snakes for Clevers and his team to track down and foster into organoids. Leslie Nemo, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2020 Kim Gray, curator of herpetology and ichthyology with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, cited another reason cobras don't like to bite people. CNN, 29 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'herpetology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Greek herpeton quadruped, reptile, from neuter of herpetos crawling, from herpein

First Known Use

1824, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of herpetology was in 1824

Dictionary Entries Near herpetology

Cite this Entry

“Herpetology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herpetology. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


her·​pe·​tol·​o·​gy ˌhər-pə-ˈtäl-ə-jē How to pronounce herpetology (audio)
: a branch of zoology dealing with reptiles and amphibians

More from Merriam-Webster on herpetology

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