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reptilian

[rep-til-ee-uh n, -til-yuh n]
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adjective
  1. belonging or pertaining to the Reptilia.
  2. groveling, debased, or despicable; contemptible.
  3. mean; treacherous; harmful.
noun
  1. a reptile.

Origin of reptilian

1840–50; < New Latin Reptili(a) reptiles (plural of rēptile, neuter of Late Latin rēptilis; see reptile) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for reptilian

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "A reptilian sorcery," he whispered to Lockwood, and smiled.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • They seemed now to have got into quite a reptilian paradise.

    Off to the Wilds

    George Manville Fenn

  • Among their reptilian foes are black snakes and bull snakes.

  • Reptilian fossils are found in both the lignite and the intervening layers of rock.

  • Concerning the reptilian pubis there are considerable difficulties.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds


British Dictionary definitions for reptilian

reptilian

adjective
  1. of, relating to, resembling, or characteristic of reptiles
  2. mean or treacherous; contemptiblereptilian behaviour
noun
  1. a less common name for reptile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for reptilian

adj.

1846, from reptile + -ian. Transferred meaning "malignant, cold, underhanded" is from 1859.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

reptilian in Science

reptilian

[rĕp-tĭlē-ən]
  1. Relating to or characteristic of reptiles.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.