monitor lizard


: any of various tropical carnivorous lizards (genus Varanus of the family Varanidae) of Australia, Asia, and Africa

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Exactly how those dinos have multiplied and spread across the planet in four years remains a hazy detail, though the surviving velociraptor known as Blue has reproduced without a mate thanks to her strand of monitor lizard DNA. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 June 2022 Some of the animal species that were imported, including a flying fox and monitor lizard, require a permit to import because of regulations on the trade of threatened and endangered animals. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 May 2021 Up the road, a monitor lizard, a creature more crocodile than newt, lumbered across the tarmac, with little traffic to impede its crossing. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2021 Customers at a 7-Eleven in Thailand were in for a surprise when a giant Asian monitor lizard scurried into the convenience store. Amy Wray, CNN, 9 Apr. 2021 However, Godzilla’s bite is by no means weak, and all of his teeth are flesh-piercing, similar to crocodile and monitor lizard teeth. Kiersten Formoso, The Conversation, 29 Mar. 2021 At top are three extant species: the gharial, which eats fish; the American crocodile, which eats harder invertebrates like snails and crustaceans; and Grey’s monitor lizard, which is an omnivore. Matt Simon, Wired, 28 Oct. 2020 In the days that followed, videos of other animals displaced in urban landscapes in the Philippines — a pig in Cebu City, a cow on an Iloilo highway, and a monitor lizard stalking a Davao suburb — also attracted online attention. Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2020 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monitor lizard was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near monitor lizard

Cite this Entry

“Monitor lizard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

monitor lizard


: any of various large flesh-eating lizards of very warm areas in Africa, Australia, and Asia

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