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

Examples of lizard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The group is seeking data on pets or animals outside including squirrels, birds, coyotes, lizards and insects. Ella Gonzales, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 29 Mar. 2024 So there’s this big prehistoric lizard, see, and once upon a time, the powers that be tried to kill him with a nuclear bomb. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 28 Mar. 2024 Their diet primarily consists of small mammals (i.e. rodents), lizards, birds, and bird eggs. USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2024 An intrepid smuggler was arrested at the San Ysidro border crossing in February 2022 after agents found 52 lizards and snakes hidden in his clothing. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2024 Still, there were hermit crabs and lizards creeping among the sea grapes, as there had been for millions of years, and wild cotton along the edges of the cliffs. Carina Del Valle Schorske, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 According to National Geographic, Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on Earth, often weighing over 300 pounds. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 19 Mar. 2024 The farm in Namibe Province was just one of the many sites researchers visited during a yearslong project to study lizards in the southern African country of Angola, according to a study published Feb. 20 in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 29 Feb. 2024 Based on the study’s evolutionary tree, snakes appear to have evolved up to about three times faster than lizards. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 23 Feb. 2024

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

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 21 Apr. 2024.

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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