Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Chiefly British A turtle that lives in fresh or brackish water.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of several different freshwater or tide-water tortoises of the family Emydidæ; specifically, in the United States, the diamond-back, Malaclemmys or Malacoclemmys palustris, of the Atlantic coast from New York to Texas, famous among epicures. See diamond-backed turtle (under diamond-backed), and Malaclemmys.
  • noun Some other tortoise or turtle: as, the elephant terrapin of the Galapagos.
  • noun A dish made of the diamond-back.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of tortoises living in fresh and brackish waters. Many of them are valued for food.
  • noun the snapping turtle.
  • noun any one of numerous species of American tortoises of the genus Cinosternon.
  • noun the painted turtle. See under Painted.
  • noun a small fresh-water American terrapin (Chelopus guttatus) having the carapace black with round yellow spots; -- called also spotted turtle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of several North American turtles, of the family Emydidae, that live in fresh or brackish water.

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

  • noun any of various edible North American web-footed turtles living in fresh or brackish water

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of torope, from Virginia Algonquian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From an Algonquian word torope ("little turtle"); compare Abenaki tolba ("turtle").

Examples

  • In 1880, a Washington Post reporter called terrapin vital to any dinner party "laying claim to being a pretentious affair."

    Matthew Jacob: Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio and Turtle Soup?

  • Oh dear dog, the idea of terrapin poo on KY's elegant 'do ....

    Archive 2006-04-02

  • Soon Jon-Tom and the terrapin were the only ones still playing.

    The Time of the Transference

  • "Some persons," wrote the Dutch traveller, Van der Donck, in 1656, "prepare delicious dishes from the water terrapin, which is luscious food."

    Home Life in Colonial Days

  • The terrapin is a small turtle, found on the shores of Maryland and

    North America

  • The terrapin is a small turtle, found on the shores of Maryland and

    North America — Volume 1

  • A small tortoise, called a terrapin, [198] is taken in some rivers, creeks, and swampy grounds, and is used as an article of food.

    The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2)

  • In addition to the clean-cars standards, the Legislature approved a bill outlawing the trapping of the diamondback terrapin, which is the state reptile and official mascot of the University of Maryland.

    Stateline.org RSS - stories

  • In addition to the clean-cars standards, the Legislature approved a bill outlawing the trapping of the diamondback terrapin, which is the state reptile and official mascot of the University of Maryland.

    Stateline.org RSS - stories

  • In addition to the clean-cars standards, the Legislature approved a bill outlawing the trapping of the diamondback terrapin, which is the state reptile and official mascot of the University of Maryland.

    Stateline.org RSS - stories

Comments

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  • 1 terrapin = 10^^12 pins.

    February 23, 2008

  • Kuniyoshi's take

    September 21, 2009