from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various cold-blooded, usually egg-laying vertebrates of the class Reptilia, such as a snake, lizard, crocodile, turtle, or dinosaur, having an external covering of scales or horny plates and breathing by means of lungs.
  • n. A person regarded as despicable or treacherous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Reptilia.
  • n. A mean or grovelling person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Creeping; moving on the belly, or by means of small and short legs.
  • adj. Hence: Groveling; low; vulgar
  • n. An animal that crawls, or moves on its belly, as snakes,, or by means of small, short legs, as lizards, and the like.
  • n. One of the Reptilia, or one of the Amphibia.
  • n. A groveling or very mean person.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Creeping or crawling; repent; reptant; reptatory; of or pertaining to the Reptilia, in any sense.
  • Groveling; low; mean: as, a reptile race.
  • n. A creeping animal; an animal that goes on its belly, or moves with small, short legs.
  • n. Specifically An oviparous quadruped; a four-footed egg-laying animal: applied about the middle of the eighteenth century to the animals then technically called Amphibia, as frogs, toads, newts, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles; any amphibian.
  • n. By restriction, upon the recognition of the divisions Amphibia and Reptilia, a scaly or pholidote reptile, as distinguished from a naked reptile; any snake, lizard, crocodile, or turtle; a member of the Reptilia proper; a saurian.
  • n. A groveling, abject, or mean person: used in contempt.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Reptilia including tortoises, turtles, snakes, lizards, alligators, crocodiles, and extinct forms


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English reptil, from Old French reptile, from Late Latin rēptile, from neuter of Latin rēptilis, creeping, from rēptus, past participle of rēpere, to creep.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English reptil, from Old French reptile, from Late Latin rēptile, neuter of reptilis ("creeping"), from Latin rēpō ("to creep"), from Proto-Indo-European *rep- (“to creep, slink”) (Pokorny; Watkins, 1969).


  • By the way, nothing cladistically out-of-line with the term reptile, so long as we agree that Reptilia is a clade in which case it includes Aves and excludes Synapsida of which mammals are part.

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