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

Along with more than 100 gators, the farm features other reptiles, a petting zoo, fish tanks and a chance to wrestle the gators. Tom Noel, The Know, "9 odd places that you should include on a Colorado road trip, from a giant hot dog to fake cliff dwellings," 25 Aug. 2019 However, the office said, airlines are welcome to continue denying transport to snakes (news that’s likely to cheer Samuel L. Jackson), other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders. Chris Morris, Fortune, "DOT Clears Pit Bulls, Miniature Horses To Fly As Service Animals," 15 Aug. 2019 Chance had eluded capture for a week, thrusting the search for the elusive reptile into the national spotlight and turning his trapper into an instant celebrity. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Where’s the Jussie Smollett-type outrage over the lying alligator catcher who filed a false police report and got to walk free?," 31 July 2019 Like other reptiles, iguanas are also capable of transmitting salmonella. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "‘Wild west’ iguana hunting: Florida backs off telling people to kill iguanas ‘whenever possible’," 29 July 2019 Spend the day with bug professionals, check out the animal show, have some food and drinks, and get a good look at reptiles, too. San Diego Union-Tribune, "12 things to do in San Diego this weekend: Comic-Con, Ziggy Marley, Insect Festival," 19 July 2019 After a local volunteer spent nearly a week trying to trap the reptile without luck, the city flew in an expert from Florida on Sunday and shut down the park to try to catch the gator. Meagan Flynn, Anchorage Daily News, "After days on the loose, alligator that shut down Chicago park is caught by Florida man," 16 July 2019 Like other reptiles, iguanas are also capable of transmitting salmonella. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Florida asks people to kill green iguanas ‘whenever possible’," 3 July 2019 The spring season when turtles move onto the shoreline to lay their eggs can be a perilous time for the reptiles. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Your Old Bra Clasps Can Save Injured Turtles," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While reptile sightings might appear to be a recent trend, Wathne said that the prevalence of social media has likely served to increase awareness of an always-present problem. Nicole Blackwood, chicagotribune.com, "The alligator in Humboldt Park might have been a pet, but experts say dumping exotic animals is never the answer," 10 July 2019 While reptile sightings might appear to be a recent trend, Wathne said that the prevalence of social media has likely served to increase awareness of an always-present problem. Nicole Blackwood, chicagotribune.com, "The alligator in Humboldt Park might have been a pet, but experts say dumping exotic animals is never the answer," 10 July 2019 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

6 Sep 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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