from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pursue or capture turtles; make a practice or business of taking turtles.
  • noun A turtle-dove.
  • 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.)

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 archaic A turtle dove.
  • 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.

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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    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.

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    November 9, 2008

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    The phrase "phoning it in" comes to mind.

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    November 19, 2008

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    "Man, what a turtle! I can't even get one hit!"

    August 14, 2009