Definitions

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

  • noun A Roman siege device consisting of a movable screen protecting the besiegers' approach to a wall.
  • noun A cover formed by the overlapping shields of besiegers and held over their heads.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Among the ancient Romans, a defensive cover or screen which a body of troops formed by overlapping above their heads their oblong shields when in close array.
  • noun A shelter similar in shape and design to the above, employed as a defense by miners and others when working in ground or rock which is liable to cave in.
  • noun In medicine, an encysted tumor, which has been supposed to resemble the shell of a turtle. Also called talpa.
  • noun [capitalized] In herpetology, the typical genus of Testudinidæ, of widely varying limits with different authors, and much confused with Cistudo.
  • noun In anatomy, the fornix: more fully called testudo cerebri. See cerebrum.
  • noun In ancient music, a species of lyre: so called in allusion to the lyre of Mercury, fabled to have been made of the shell of the sea-tortoise. The name was also extended in medieval music to the lute.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) A genus of tortoises which formerly included a large number of diverse forms, but is now restricted to certain terrestrial species, such as the European land tortoise (Testudo Græca) and the gopher of the Southern United States.
  • noun (Rom. Antiq.) A cover or screen which a body of troops formed with their shields or targets, by holding them over their heads when standing close to each other. This cover resembled the back of a tortoise, and served to shelter the men from darts, stones, and other missiles. A similar defense was sometimes formed of boards, and moved on wheels.
  • noun (Mus.) A kind of musical instrument. a species of lyre; -- so called in allusion to the lyre of Mercury, fabled to have been made of the shell of a tortoise.

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

  • noun a movable protective covering that provided protection from above; used by Roman troops when approaching the walls of a besieged fortification
  • noun type genus of the Testudinidae

Etymologies

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

[Latin testūdō, from testa, shell.]

Examples

  • Finally, the derivation of the word testudo itself comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Interestingly, the word testudo also comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell, so that could be the answer as well.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Finally, the derivation of the word testudo itself comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Finally, the derivation of the word testudo itself comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Interestingly, the word testudo also comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell, so that could be the answer as well.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Finally, the derivation of the word testudo itself comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Finally, the derivation of the word testudo itself comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Interestingly, the word testudo also comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell, so that could be the answer as well.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Interestingly, the word testudo also comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell, so that could be the answer as well.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

  • Finally, the derivation of the word testudo itself comes from the Latin word for a protective shelter used for Roman soldiers heads, similar to a tortoise shell.

    Maryland Terrapins News -- www.umterps.com

Comments

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  • "So measured and theatrical was the riot that I had time to appreciate the way the police formed up into small shielded testudos, lost ground, broke, then reformed, as bottles and bricks crashed down on Plexiglas."

    Psychogeography by Will Self, 101

    October 16, 2010