any cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Reptilia, comprising the turtles, snakes, lizards, crocodilians, amphisbaenians, tuatara, and various extinct members including the dinosaurs.
(loosely) any of various animals that crawl or creep.
a groveling, mean, or despicable person.
of or resembling a reptile; creeping or crawling.
groveling, mean, or despicable.
- rep·tile·like, adjective
- rep·ti·loid [rep-tl-oid], /ˈrɛp tlˌɔɪd/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use reptile in a sentence
The human Murphy did a lot of work early in his career on Komodo dragons and later published a book on reptile play behavior, using observations from the National Zoo’s Komodo dragons.The National Zoo’s wild naming inspiration, from Billy Joel to the Golden Girls | John Kelly | January 25, 2021 | Washington Post
With the “massive smell of reptile” in there they may steer clear, he says.Monitor lizards’ huge burrow systems can shelter hundreds of small animals | Jake Buehler | January 19, 2021 | Science News
For decades, the invasive reptiles have slithered up trees to feast upon the forest birds of Guam.These snakes wiggle up smooth poles by turning their bodies into ‘lassoes’ | Kate Baggaley | January 13, 2021 | Popular-Science
The next year, while conducting reptile and amphibian surveys in roughly the same region, Fulgence found three more of the spiders hiding in similar leaf retreats.These spiders may sew leaves into fake shelters to lure frogs to their doom | Jake Buehler | January 4, 2021 | Science News
The reptiles weren’t hurt, just so cold that they couldn’t move and lost their grip.From Elvis worms to the Milky Way’s edge, these science stories sparked joy in 2020 | Erika Engelhaupt | December 17, 2020 | Science News
The new film ignored all previous sequels and put the giant reptile at the center of a cold war nuclear standoff.A Comprehensive History of Toho’s Original Kaiju (and Atomic Allegory) Godzilla | Rich Goldstein | May 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Even reptile experts are puzzled, Christine Pelisek reports.Python Murder Mystery: How Did a Snake Kill Two Young Boys? | Christine Pelisek | August 7, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
A reptile hatching from an egg must not cry out for its mother, or else it will be readily detected by predators and eaten.
In 1915 Thorpe started also playing and coaching the “reptile sport” of professional football in Canton, Ohio.The Most Wonderful Athlete in the World: Jim Thorpe’s Story | Kate Buford | August 5, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Pedestrians would take turtles for walks and let the reptile set the pace.
While searching the field Lawrence noticed some white object crawling along like a large reptile.The Courier of the Ozarks | Byron A. Dunn
If you value your life, and that of your mother and her husband, avoid him as you would some venomous reptile.The Doctor of Pimlico | William Le Queux
It is much more distinguished and honorable to be a reptile than a dog, dont you think, Soldier?A Horse's Tale | Mark Twain
The reptile only seemed to await a motion on Clifford's part to strike like a flash of lightning.A Fortune Hunter; Or, The Old Stone Corral | John Dunloe Carteret
He left the guards at the fringes of his engineers' forest and rode the eight-legged reptile recklessly among the huge trunks.The Envoy, Her | Horace Brown Fyfe
British Dictionary definitions for reptile
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
a grovelling insignificant person: you miserable little reptile!
creeping, crawling, or squirming
grovelling or insignificant; mean; contemptible
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
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.