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

Bill Camp is marvelously reptilian as a Brooklyn mafioso who lures them into an uneasy cross-borough alliance. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Mob wives take over ‘The Kitchen,’ a ‘70s crime drama with more sizzle than steak," 7 Aug. 2019 The actor's dramatic weight loss for the role gives him an emaciated, reptilian look. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Joker': Film Review | Venice 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 The human Chance seemed to approve, and retweeted pictures and articles of his reptilian namesake. Time, "Here's How the New Lion King Is Different From the Original," 16 July 2019 Female snakes are also seeking food for reptilian newborns. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "High summer temperatures are luring out more active snakes in Texas," 25 July 2019 Our heroes battle more Nazis plus a shape-shifting reptilian race in this sequel to the 2012 sci-fi action comedy. Matt Cooper,, "L.A. movie openings, July 14-21: A CGI remake of ‘The Lion King,’ an ‘Iron Sky’ sequel and more," 14 July 2019 The reptilian patients spend anywhere between three to eight weeks in rehab until their shells have healed. Scottie Andrew And Nadeem Muaddi, CNN, "Sometimes, all it takes to save an injured turtle is a bra. No, seriously," 29 June 2019 Stunna shades and silks and furs and reptilian kicks, and wool fedoras and cashmere sweaters and velvet sweats and bespoke suits and belts, wallets, luggage made of monogrammed canvas. Mitchell S. Jackson, Harper's magazine, "Opportunity Cost," 10 Feb. 2019 And that's the last mention of the Targaryens and their beloved reptilian beasts. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where Did Drogon Take Daenerys Targaryen in the Game of Thrones Finale?," 20 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Found in southern Germany, the 150 million-year-old Archaeopteryx fossil combined reptilian and avian features. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Origins of Flight, From Birds to Bugs to Planes," 21 June 2019 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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Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for reptilian

The first known use of reptilian was in 1833

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Spanish Central: Translation of reptilian

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to fake an opponent out of position

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