squa·​mate ˈskwā-ˌmāt How to pronounce squamate (audio)
: any of an order (Squamata) of reptiles including the snakes and lizards and related extinct forms
squamate adjective

Examples of squamate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their phylogenetic map confirmed that snakes are evolving into new ecological niches and physical forms about three times faster than other squamates, and that most of that evolution has occurred over the past 70 to 100 million years or so. Popular Science, 22 Feb. 2024 Using new genetic sequences from more than 1,000 species and additional existing data from nearly 7,000 reptile species, the researchers constructed one of the most detailed ever evolutionary trees of lizards and snakes, which together are known as squamates. Popular Science, 22 Feb. 2024 The lack of direct research on female and intersex squamates has only created confusion. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Mar. 2023 Megachirella's detailed features weren't completely discernible, and scientists didn't have a comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary timeline for squamates. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, 31 May 2018 But the previous oldest squamate fossil discovered was only about 180 million years old. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, 3 June 2018 Despite occupying so much of the Earth, scientists have found gaps in its understanding of squamate lineage. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, 3 June 2018 But, as Nicola Davis reports at The Guardian, a new study suggests that squamates actually evolved before The Great Dying and powered through this cataclysmic period. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 1 June 2018 Genetic evidence suggests that squamates evolved in the Permian period, over 250 million years ago. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, 3 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'squamate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


ultimately from Late Latin squamatus scaly, from Latin squama

First Known Use

1968, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of squamate was in 1968

Dictionary Entries Near squamate

Cite this Entry

“Squamate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squamate. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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