rep·​til·​ian | \ rep-ˈti-lē-ən How to pronounce reptilian (audio) , -ˈtil-yən\

Definition of reptilian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : resembling or having the characteristics of the reptiles
2 : of or relating to the reptiles
3 : cold-bloodedly treacherous a reptilian villain— Theodore Dreiser



Definition of reptilian (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of reptilian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Trust your instincts, your natural, innate, amygdala and reptilian-brained instincts, thousands of years old, that respond without thinking to the stress, threat, or danger intrinsically felt by all animals. Polo Tate, Marie Claire, "Sexual Assault in the Military: One Woman's True Story," 8 Aug. 2018 The unique pattern, long sleeves and flowing train gave the look a fierce, reptilian-like effect while the open back and perfect glove-like fit feminized the look by letting her show off her curves. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "CMT Music Awards: Carrie Underwood and more of the night's best-dressed stars," 7 June 2018 Still, others are little sheriff’s hats for the reptilian lawman — er, law-dragon. Marco Santana,, "7-foot boa, bearded dragon in unicorn hat show Repticon's extremes," 7 July 2018 But without an entire dinosaur genome, genetic gaps would need to be bridged using other DNA—likely with something avian or reptilian. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Five Ways Real Science Would Make the New Jurassic World So Much Better," 12 June 2018 Jason Boatright The Kansas City Star Watkins' reptilian tweet Saturday wasn't a one-time deal. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Chiefs' Sammy Watkins believes he's an advanced 'reptilian solar being' | The Kansas City Star," 16 Apr. 2018 The Sunshine State is known for its reptilian incidents. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Alligator goes for a swim at Florida beach," 24 June 2018 While Danny formed a leadership duo with Rusty (Brad Pitt), Debbie hooks up with the reptilian Lou (Cate Blanchett). Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "In Ocean’s 8, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend," 12 June 2018 Jayne and Boyer advise individuals faced with similar reptilian dilemmas to leave the snake alone or call an expert to remove it. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Why Rattlesnakes Are Just as Dangerous Dead or Alive," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of the tegu’s fellow reptilian invaders, the Burmese python, has been called a poster-child for invasive species. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "How Florida fends off its slippery, scaly invaders," 6 Mar. 2018 Sort of reptilian yet kind of fishy, with a mouth of fangs that splits open four-ways like an origami fortune teller. Matt Prigge, NBC News, "7 Asian Horror Films for Your Halloween Movie Night," 25 Oct. 2017 The redoubtable reptilian mascot, which made its debut in 1999, was conceived by the Martin Agency to both reinforce Geico’s name and help the public figure out how to pronounce it. Joanne Kaufman, New York Times, "It Began With a Gecko. Mayhem (and Flo and Peyton) Ensued.," 17 Sep. 2017 There were also parrots, doves and beehives, as well as village dogs and lean reptilian chickens resting in the shade. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The Biggest Tree Canopy on the Planet Stretches Across Nearly Five Acres," 29 Apr. 2017 Like Medusa — the snake-haired goddess of Greek mythology — brushing her reptilian locks, the mass of red-sided garter snakes would slither a foot or two up the side of the pit before sliding back to the bottom. Brad Dokken, Twin Cities, "Every spring, thousands of snakes let loose in Winnipeg — with only one thing on their minds," 18 June 2017 There were also parrots, doves and beehives, as well as village dogs and lean reptilian chickens resting in the shade. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The Biggest Tree Canopy on the Planet Stretches Across Nearly Five Acres," 2 May 2017 A painting of a tightly framed, gaudily made-up eye has an undeniable reptilian mien in its carefully detailed sheen and wrinkles. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Lush Morsels From an Artist’s Erotic Imagination NOV. 11, 2016," 10 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reptilian.' 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 reptilian


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1838, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of reptilian was in 1833

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Spanish Central: Translation of reptilian

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