An example of a turtle is a sea turtle.
- any of a large and widely distributed order (Testudines) of terrestrial or aquatic reptiles having a toothless beak and a soft body encased in a tough shell into which, in most species, the head, tail, and four legs may be withdrawn: although aquatic, esp. marine, species are usually called turtle and land species are usually called tortoise, the terms are properly interchangeable for all species
- the flesh of some turtles, used as food
- Archaic turtledove
Origin of turtlealtered, probably influenced, influence by turtle(dove) ; from French tortue, tortoise ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form tartaruca: see tortoise
Origin of turtleMiddle English, from Old English, from Latin turtur, probably of imitative origin.
- Any of various aquatic or terrestrial egg-laying reptiles of the order Testudines (or Chelonia), having horny toothless jaws and a bony or leathery shell into which the head, limbs, and tail can be withdrawn in most species.
- Any of various members of this order that live in fresh or brackish water, in contrast to the terrestrial tortoises.
- Chiefly British A sea turtle.
- The flesh of certain turtles, used for food.
intransitive verbtur·tled, tur·tling, tur·tles
- To hunt for turtles, especially as an occupation.
- Nautical To capsize.
Origin of turtleAlteration (influenced by turtle2) of Middle English tortu, from Old French tortue, ultimately (probably with influence from Old French tortu, crooked, and tordu, twisted, from the shape of its legs) from Vulgar Latin *tartar&umacron;ca, feminine of *tartar&umacron;cus, of Tartarus (the turtle being a symbol of the forces of darkness in early Christian iconography), from Late Latin tartar&umacron;chus, from Late Greek tartaroukhos, occupying Tartarus : Tartaros, Tartarus + ekhein, to hold; see eunuch.
- Any land or marine reptile of the order Testudines, characterised by a protective shell enclosing its body.
- (Australia, UK) A sea turtle.
- (military) An Ancient Roman attack method, where the shields held by the soldiers hide them, not only left, right, front and back, but also from above.
- (computing) A type of robot having a domed case (so resembling the reptile), used in education, especially for making line drawings by means of a computer program.
- (computing) An on-screen cursor that serves the same function as a turtle for drawing.
- (printing, historical) The curved plate in which the form is held in a type-revolving cylinder press.
(third-person singular simple present turtles, present participle turtling, simple past and past participle turtled)
- (now rare, archaic) A turtle dove.