reptile

[ rep-tahyl, -til ]
See synonyms for reptile on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Reptilia, comprising the turtles, snakes, lizards, crocodilians, amphisbaenians, tuatara, and various extinct members including the dinosaurs.

  2. (loosely) any of various animals that crawl or creep.

  1. a groveling, mean, or despicable person.

adjective
  1. of or resembling a reptile; creeping or crawling.

  2. groveling, mean, or despicable.

Origin of reptile

1
1350–1400; Middle English reptil<Late Latin rēptile, noun use of neuter of rēptilis creeping, equivalent to Latin rēpt(us) (past participle of rēpere to creep) + -ilis-ile

Other words from reptile

  • rep·tile·like, adjective
  • rep·ti·loid [rep-tl-oid], /ˈrɛp tlˌɔɪd/, adjective

Words Nearby reptile

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use reptile in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for reptile

reptile

/ (ˈrɛptaɪl) /


noun
  1. any of the cold-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Reptilia, characterized by lungs, an outer covering of horny scales or plates, and young produced in amniotic eggs. The class today includes the tortoises, turtles, snakes, lizards, and crocodiles; in Mesozoic times it was the dominant group, containing the dinosaurs and related forms

  2. a grovelling insignificant person: you miserable little reptile!

adjective
  1. creeping, crawling, or squirming

  2. grovelling or insignificant; mean; contemptible

Origin of reptile

1
C14: from Late Latin reptilis creeping, from Latin rēpere to crawl

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

Scientific definitions for reptile

reptile

[ rĕptīl′ ]


  1. Any of various cold-blooded vertebrates of the class Reptilia, having skin covered with scales or horny plates, breathing air with lungs, and usually having a three-chambered heart. Unlike amphibians, whose eggs are fertilized outside the female body, reptiles reproduce by eggs that are fertilized inside the female. Though once varied, widespread, and numerous, reptilian lineages, including the pterosaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and dinosaurs, have mostly become extinct (though birds are living descendants of dinosaurs). The earliest reptiles were the cotylosaurs (or stem reptiles) of the late Mississippian or early Pennsylvanian Period, from which mammals evolved. Modern reptiles include crocodiles, snakes, turtles, and lizards.

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