Definitions

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

  • n. The mottled, horny, translucent, brownish covering of the carapace of certain tortoises or turtles, especially the hawksbill, used to make combs, jewelry, and other articles.
  • n. A synthetic imitation of natural tortoiseshell.
  • n. See hawksbill.
  • n. A domestic cat having fur with brown, black, and yellowish markings.
  • n. Any of several butterflies, chiefly of the genus Nymphalis, having wings with orange, black, and brown markings.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The horny, translucent, mottled covering of the carapace of the hawksbill turtle, used as a veneer etc.
  • n. The hawksbill turtle.
  • n. A domestic cat whose fur has black, brown and yellow markings.
  • n. Any of several butterflies, mostly of the genus Mymphalis that have similar markings.
  • adj. made of the covering of carapace of hawksbill turtle
  • adj. having markings resembling covering of carapace of hawksbill turtle

Etymologies

tortoise +‎ shell (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • there are no visuals of tortoiseshell

    October 22, 2011

  • That's just a coinkydink, sionnach.

    January 23, 2008

  • And all this time I thought that blue-cream tortie was just law clerk jargon for the massive class action suit against the dairy industry, following last year's unfortunate Texas bluetooth outbreak.

    January 23, 2008

  • Tortoiseshell cats are also found that are gray and cream. This is known as a dilute tortoiseshell or a blue-cream tortie.

    January 22, 2008