reptile

noun
rep·​tile | \ ˈrep-ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce reptile (audio) , -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

The city issued a warning Thursday, saying residents of the Tara Park neighborhood should be on the lookout for the reptile, the largest species of lizard in Africa. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, "This lizard can get big enough to eat a cat - and it’s on the prowl in Plantation," 6 June 2019 According to the Mayo Clinic, people who have travelled internationally to countries with poor sanitation or who own birds and reptiles have a higher risk of being infected with salmonella. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Salmonella," 2 May 2019 First of all, could there be a flying reptile large enough to carry a human on its back? William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "'Game of Thrones' Science: Could a Person Ride a Dragon?," 15 Apr. 2019 By a stroke of luck, when Xing got the call was on his way to Canada to collaborate with Caldwell on an already-in-progress study of reptiles. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Oldest Ever Baby Snake Discovered in Forest Amber," 19 July 2018 Pterosaurs left no descendants but are a unique lineage of flying reptiles discovered in the 18th century. National Geographic, "Why T. Rex Couldn't Waggle Its Tongue," 20 June 2018 Ten main lines of reptiles survived the crisis and re-populated the Earth in the subsequent Early Triassic time. Collin Eaton, Houston Chronicle, "The numbers behind the Permian spotlight at OTC," 1 May 2018 The load of live green sea turtles Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens released back into the Gulf just ahead of the weekend were among the more than 1,000 of the reptiles collected from frigid bay waters earlier in the week. Shannon Tompkins, San Antonio Express-News, "After new year’s freeze, rescued turtles returned to Gulf," 7 Jan. 2018 Climate change is also threatening some Aussie reptile species that live in cool enclaves, like the Bartle Frere Cool-skink (Techmarscincus jigurru), which only lives on the top of Queensland’s highest mountain. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Australian Reptiles And a Toad Named After Gollum on Latest Endangered Species Update," 6 July 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

14 Jun 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
informal : a person who cannot be trusted or who is not likable

reptile

noun
rep·​tile | \ ˈrep-təl How to pronounce reptile (audio) , -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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