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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The reptile, named Antarctanax, was announced today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Found in the Cold Mountains of Antarctica: A Warm Weather Lizard Fossil," 31 Jan. 2019 Crowds surrounded the items throughout the day at the event, which featured dozens of vendors selling reptiles, rodents for snacks, cages and, yes, tiny hats. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "7-foot boa, bearded dragon in unicorn hat show Repticon's extremes," 7 July 2018 In recent years, the variety of emotional-support animals exploded to include monkeys, pigs and ducks as emotional-support animals, although airlines didn't have to accept reptiles, ferrets or rodents. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Delta updates comfort-animal policy to one per passenger -- and no pit bulls," 21 June 2018 Getty Images/EyeEm Score another victory for animal rights groups: Chanel is the latest fashion giant to swear off fur and exotic animal skins from reptiles. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Chanel is the latest in a wave of fashion designers to part ways with fur," 5 Dec. 2018 The reptiles were in canisters, packed in bags, carried in hand luggage. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Snakes on a plane: Passenger flew from Germany to Russia with 20 snakes in his bag," 12 Sep. 2018 July marks the end of mating season, when the reptiles are particularly aggressive and territorial, Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens spokesman Ron Magill told The Post. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "An alligator trapped a teenage girl in a tree. Then a deputy arrived with an AR-15.," 3 July 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reptile

Dictionary Entries near reptile

Reptantia

reptatorial

reptd

reptile

reptilelike

Reptilia

reptilian

Statistics for reptile

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reptile

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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
informal : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reptile

What made you want to look up reptile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!