[ hur-pi-tol-uh-jee ]
/ ˌhɜr pɪˈtɒl ə dʒi /


the branch of zoology dealing with reptiles and amphibians.

Origin of herpetology

1815–25; < Greek herpetó(n) a creeping thing (Compare hérpein to creep) + -logy; cf. serpent

Related forms

her·pe·to·log·ic [hur-pi-tl-oj-ik] /ˌhɜr pɪ tlˈɒdʒ ɪk/, her·pe·to·log·i·cal, adjectiveher·pe·to·log·i·cal·ly, adverbher·pe·tol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for herpetologist

  • He would be a physiologist or a biologist or an anatomist or even a herpetologist, but none should call him “scientist.”

  • A herpetologist might have envied me the hour I spent upon that log in the company of Gabriel the Bambarra.

    The Quadroon|Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for herpetologist


/ (ˌhɜːpɪˈtɒlədʒɪ) /


the study of reptiles and amphibians

Derived Forms

herpetologic (ˌhɜːpɪtəˈlɒdʒɪk) or herpetological, adjectiveherpetologically, adverbherpetologist, noun

Word Origin for herpetology

C19: from Greek herpeton creeping animal, from herpein to creep
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

Science definitions for herpetologist


[ hûr′pĭ-tŏlə-jē ]

The scientific study of reptiles and amphibians.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.