liz·​ard ˈli-zərd How to pronounce lizard (audio)
: any of a suborder (Lacertilia) of reptiles distinguished from the snakes by a fused inseparable lower jaw, a single temporal opening, two pairs of well differentiated functional limbs which may be lacking in burrowing forms, external ears, and eyes with movable lids
broadly : any relatively long-bodied reptile (such as a crocodile or dinosaur) with legs and tapering tail
: leather made from lizard skin

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web What looked like an unassuming block of sandstone turned out to have a gorgeous skeleton of a lizard-like animal called Leptopleuron inside, revealed by micro-CT scans. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Oct. 2022 Twenty-six bird species in the world are called buzzards, including the honey-buzzard, the lizard buzzard, the forest buzzard and the long-legged buzzard. Jerry Butler, Arkansas Online, 31 Oct. 2022 Kirk boulder-wrestled a guy in a lizard suit and weird toga. Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2022 Some animals, like you and I, generate our heat internally and maintain it fairly steadily, which is very different from a lizard that shares a similar body temperature after heating in the sun but will become cooler and more sluggish at night. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 July 2022 Johansen’s satirical lounge-lizard act, complete with the Staten Island accent, bespeaks a cagey but genuine sophistication. Armond White, National Review, 14 Oct. 2022 On Thursday, McDonald’s announced the impending arrival of the classic buckets on Twitter, with a cute gif that stimulated the nostalgic portion of every millennial’s lizard brain. oregonlive, 6 Oct. 2022 The lizard, most likely a monitor lizard, is seen in the 40-second video trying to literally knock at the home's door and scratch at it by finding a way to get into the house while standing on a windowsill. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2022 Did dinosaur blood run cold, like a lizard, or warm, like a bird? Katie Hunt, CNN, 17 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lizard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English liserd, from Anglo-French lesarde, from Latin lacerta

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lizard was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lizard

Cite this Entry

“Lizard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



liz·​ard ˈliz-ərd How to pronounce lizard (audio)
: any of a group of reptiles that can be told apart from the related snakes by their lower jaw which has the two halves joined and inseparable, by ears which are outside the body, by eyes with movable lids, and usually by two pairs of functional limbs

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