rep·tile /ˈrɛpˌtaɪl, tḷ/
1. Zool. An animal that crawls, or moves on its belly, as snakes,, or by means of small, short legs, as lizards, and the like.
An inadvertent step may crush the snail
That crawls at evening in the public path;
But he that has humanity, forewarned,
Will tread aside, and let the reptile live. --Cowper.
2. Zool. One of the Reptilia, or one of the Amphibia.
Note: ☞ The amphibians were formerly classed with Reptilia, and are still popularly called reptiles, though much more closely allied to the fishes.
3. A groveling or very mean person.
1. Creeping; moving on the belly, or by means of small and short legs.
2. Hence: Groveling; low; vulgar; as, a reptile race or crew; reptile vices.
There is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution, but of fear. --Burke.
And dislodge their reptile souls
From the bodies and forms of men. --Coleridge.
n : any cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Reptilia including
tortoises turtles snakes lizards alligators crocodiles
and extinct forms [syn: reptilian]