Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tortoise; any chelonian or testudinate; any member of the Chelonia or Testudinata (see the technical names); especially, a marine tortoise, provided with flippers; absolutely, the green turtle, as Chelonia midas (see cut below), highly esteemed for soup. See cuts referred to under tortoise, also cuts under Aspidonectes, Eretmochelys, periotic, Pleurospondylia, slider, and stinkpot.
  • noun The detachable segment of the cylinder of a rotary printing-machine which contains the types or plates to be printed: so called from its curved surface.
  • noun (See also alligator-turtle, land turtle, mud-turtle, sea-turtle, snapping-turtle.)
  • To pursue or capture turtles; make a practice or business of taking turtles.
  • noun A turtle-dove.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of the numerous species of Testudinata, especially a sea turtle, or chelonian.
  • noun (Printing) The curved plate in which the form is held in a type-revolving cylinder press.
  • noun etc. See under Alligator, Box, etc.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a marine turtle of the genus Chelonia, having usually a smooth greenish or olive-colored shell. It is highly valued for the delicacy of its flesh, which is used especially for turtle soup. Two distinct species or varieties are known; one of which (Chelonia Midas) inhabits the warm part of the Atlantic Ocean, and sometimes weighs eight hundred pounds or more; the other (Chelonia virgata) inhabits the Pacific Ocean. Both species are similar in habits and feed principally on seaweed and other marine plants, especially the turtle grass.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a large, handsome cowrie (Cypræa testudinaria); the turtle-shell; so called because of its fancied resemblance to a tortoise in color and form.
  • noun (Bot.) a marine plant (Thalassia testudinum) with grasslike leaves, common about the West Indies.
  • noun tortoise shell. See under Tortoise.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The turtledove.

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

  • noun Any land or marine reptile of the order Testudines, characterised by a protective shell enclosing its body.
  • noun Australia, UK A sea turtle.
  • noun 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.
  • noun computing A type of robot having a domed case (and so resembling the reptile), used in education, especially for making line drawings by means of a computer program.
  • noun computing An on-screen cursor that serves the same function as a turtle for drawing.
  • noun printing, historical The curved plate in which the form is held in a type-revolving cylinder press.
  • verb To flip over onto the back or top; to turn upside down.
  • verb To turn and swim upside down.
  • verb To hunt turtles, especially in the water.
  • verb video games To build up a large defense force and strike only punctually, rather than going for an offensive strategy.
  • noun archaic A turtle dove.

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

  • verb hunt for turtles, especially as an occupation
  • noun any of various aquatic and land reptiles having a bony shell and flipper-like limbs for swimming
  • noun a sweater or jersey with a high close-fitting collar
  • verb overturn accidentally

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Modification of French tortue (probably under the influence of turtledove). See tortoise for more.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ultimately from Latin turtur ("turtledove"), of imitative origin.

Examples

Comments

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  • Weirdnet strikes again!

    December 2, 2007

  • a candy made with half of a pecan nutmeat covered in a layer caramel and topped with a layer of milk chocolate

    January 25, 2008

  • Total, driving, pounding ecstasy...

    January 25, 2008

  • Among certain indigenous people in the United States and Canada, including for example the Oneida, earth is known as Turtle Island from their myth in which all of creation is on the back of a large turtle.

    February 18, 2008

  • Hey! Disc World in Terry Pratchett books is on the back of a giant turtle too (gender of turtle unknown)!

    February 19, 2008

  • And believe me, it's turtles all the way down.

    February 19, 2008

  • There was a little turtle.

    He lived in a box.

    He swam in a puddle.

    He climbed on the rocks.

    He snapped at a mosquito.

    He snapped at a flea.

    He snapped at a minnow.

    And he snapped at me.

    He caught the mosquito.

    He caught the flea.

    He caught the minnow.

    But he didn't catch me.

    - Vachel Lindsay, 'The Little Turtle'.

    November 9, 2008

  • Ol' Vachel wasn't really trying very hard here, I'd have to say.

    turtle - puddle?

    The phrase "phoning it in" comes to mind.

    November 9, 2008

  • Perhaps he's related to Bob Dylan.

    November 9, 2008

  • “And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.�?

    — Dr Seuss

    November 19, 2008