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

Pipeline construction would cut through the southern end of the Atchafalaya Basin, one of the last critical swamp habitats in the world, which is home to more than 65 species of reptiles and amphibians and more than 200 species of birds and fish. Mary Lovell, Teen Vogue, "Bayou Bridge Pipeline Meets Resistance from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp," 16 Oct. 2018 The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Haven Humane Society in Anderson has taken in 500 dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and livestock during the fires. Fox News, "California Highway Patrol officer rescues fawn from Carr Fire, goes viral," 1 Aug. 2018 Nearly a decade ago, Bustamante and Arteaga co-founded Tropical Herping, an organization that melds photography, tourism, education, and research, to preserve tropical reptiles and amphibians. Alejandro Arteaga, National Geographic, "These 5 New Snake Species Suck Snails Out of Their Shells," 14 June 2018 Perhaps the reptile was embarrassed at the small unicorn hat Taber had placed on his head or the deep purple wings on his back. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "7-foot boa, bearded dragon in unicorn hat show Repticon's extremes," 7 July 2018 Pet owners can enter their dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rabbits, hamsters and other non-human family members in the eighth annual Larry Himmel Patriotic Pet Contest. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo, "Fair, parade and fireworks returning to Rancho Bernardo," 28 June 2018 There will be pony rides, farm animals and a kid-friendly reptile show at this free event. Emily Bloch, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Fourth of July starts early in Davie," 26 June 2018 Feel free to bring your cat, dog, or miniature horse, but leave the hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, sugar gliders, birds, and reptiles at home. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "JetBlue Tightens Policy on Emotional Support Animals (But Still Allows Mini Horses)," 6 June 2018 Paleontologists once believed that the gargantuan reptiles would have been unable to support their weight on land and were therefore amphibious. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "50 Rare Dinosaur Footprints Found on Scottish Island," 3 Apr. 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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Learn More about reptile

Dictionary Entries near reptile

Reptantia

reptatorial

reptd

reptile

reptilelike

Reptilia

reptilian

Statistics for reptile

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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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