From 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).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɹɪpˈtaɪl/
Audio (UK) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɹɛp.taɪl/
- Rhymes: -aɪl
reptile (plural reptiles)
- A cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Reptilia; an amniote that is neither a synapsid nor a bird.
- (figuratively) A mean or grovelling person.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, […], →OCLC:
- This work may, indeed, be considered as a great creation of our own; and for a little reptile of a critic to presume to find fault with any of its parts, without knowing the manner in which the whole is connected, and before he comes to the final catastrophe, is a most presumptuous absurdity.
- 1836 March – 1837 October, Charles Dickens, “(please specify the chapter name)”, in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published 1837, →OCLC:
- "That reptile," whispered Pott, catching Mr. Pickwick by the arm, and pointing towards the stranger. "That reptile — Slurk, of the Independent!"
- 1847 December, Ellis Bell [pseudonym; Emily Brontë], chapter XXVII, in Wuthering Heights, volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Thomas Cautley Newby, […], →OCLC:
- […] If I pitied you for crying and looking so very frightened, you should spurn such pity. Ellen, tell him how disgraceful this conduct is. Rise, and don’t degrade yourself into an abject reptile—don’t!
- See also Thesaurus:reptile
a cold-blooded vertebrate
reptile (not comparable)
- Creeping; moving on the belly, or by means of small and short legs.
- Grovelling; low; vulgar.
- a reptile race or crew reptile vices
- 1795–1797, Edmund Burke, “(please specify |letter=1 to 4)”, in [Letters on a Regicide Peace], London: [Rivington]:
- There is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution, but of fear.
- 1800, S[amuel] T[aylor] Coleridge, “Christabel. Part II.”, in Christabel: Kubla Khan, a Vision: The Pains of Sleep, London: […] John Murray, […], by William Bulmer and Co. […], published 1816, →OCLC, page 34:
- My herald shall appoint a week, / And let the recreant traitors seek / My tournay court—that there and then / I may dislodge their reptile souls / From the bodies and forms of men!
- (creeping, crawling): reptilious, creeping, crawling; reptitious (obsolete)
- (contemptible): See Thesaurus:despicable
- Category:en:Reptiles for a list of reptiles in English
- reptile on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
reptile m (plural reptiles)
- “reptile”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.