reptile

noun
rep·​tile | \ ˈrep-ˌtī(-ə)l, -tᵊl\

Definition of reptile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

reptile

adjective

Definition of reptile (Entry 2 of 2)

: characteristic of a reptile : reptilian

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Synonyms for reptile

Synonyms: Noun

bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, jerk, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin

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Examples of reptile in a Sentence

Noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, cities as far west as Los Angeles, Calif., also host the educational events, which feature workshops and seminars on the treatment of the reptiles every hour. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "7-foot boa, bearded dragon in unicorn hat show Repticon's extremes," 7 July 2018 At one large and controversial roundup in Texas, thousands of pounds of rattlesnakes are collected in one weekend alone, many of the reptiles decapitated with a machete before a crowd of gawkers. Jason Nark, Philly.com, "Venomous passion: Pennsylvania's snake hunters head to the hills," 20 June 2018 As cold-hardy iguanas pass on their genes to new generations, Florida’s northern neighbors can expect to see more of the reptiles in their own backyards. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "'Bomb Cyclone' Stunned Florida Iguanas, Causing them to Fall From Trees and Play Dead," 5 Jan. 2018 Your findings may be instrumental in preserving one of the oldest surviving reptiles in the world. Allie Almario, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to the Galápagos Islands," 5 Oct. 2016 Hurricanes, power outages, sinkholes, and the possibility of death by reptile all play a part. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 The 6-month-old doggo was bitten in the nose by the deadly reptile and swiftly brought to an animal hospital to be treated with antivenom. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "Five feel-good Arizona stories that have gone viral in 2018 (so far)," 10 July 2018 Shannon Moskoff shot the video of the two reptiles on Saturday outside the coffeehosue and then posted it on Facebook, according to the Palm Beach Post. Johnny Diaz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Two iguanas fight outside a Starbucks parking lot in Boca Raton," 25 June 2018 Security wants to engineer and sell the reptiles for combat, while the entertainment department isn’t above pitting them against each other to draw attention. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Jurassic World Evolution," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And hey, anything is possible — well, maybe not reptile babies. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "The Most Ridiculous Taylor Swift Conspiracy Theories," 28 Aug. 2017 Reptile world An exploration of snakes, lizards and their relatives. Jillian S. Jarrett, Washington Post, "What’s happening in Prince George's County," 26 July 2017

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

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First Known Use of reptile

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reptile

Noun

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

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Dictionary Entries near reptile

Reptantia

reptatorial

reptd

reptile

reptilelike

Reptilia

reptilian

Statistics for reptile

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reptile

The first known use of reptile was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for reptile

reptile

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reptile

: 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

reptile

noun
rep·​tile | \ ˈrep-təl, -ˌtīl\

Kids Definition of reptile

: 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

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