Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various aquatic or terrestrial reptiles of the order Testudines (or Chelonia), having horny toothless jaws and a bony or leathery shell into which the head, limbs, and tail can be withdrawn in most species.
  • n. Chiefly British A sea turtle.
  • intransitive v. To hunt for turtles, especially as an occupation.
  • intransitive v. Nautical To capsize.
  • n. Archaic A turtledove.
  • n. A turtleneck.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any land or marine reptile of the order Testudines, characterised by a protective shell enclosing its body.
  • n. A sea turtle.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An on-screen cursor that serves the same function as a turtle for drawing.
  • n. The curved plate in which the form is held in a type-revolving cylinder press.
  • v. To flip over onto the back or top; to turn upside down.
  • v. To turn and swim upside down.
  • v. To hunt turtles, especially in the water.
  • v. To build up a large defense force and strike only punctually, rather than going for an offensive strategy.
  • n. A turtle dove.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The turtledove.
  • n. Any one of the numerous species of Testudinata, especially a sea turtle, or chelonian.
  • n. The curved plate in which the form is held in a type-revolving cylinder press.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A turtle-dove.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. (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.

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

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

Etymologies

Perhaps from French tortue, from Old French, from Medieval Latin *tortūca, perhaps alteration (influenced by Latin tortus, twisted, from the shape of its legs) of Vulgar Latin *tartarūca, feminine of *tartarūcus, of Tartarus, from Late Latin tartarūchus, from Late Greek tartaroukhos, occupying Tartarus : Tartaros, Tartarus + ekhein, to hold; see eunuch.
Middle English, from Old English, from Latin turtur, probably of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Modification of French tortue (probably under the influence of turtledove). See tortoise for more. (Wiktionary)
Ultimately from Latin turtur ("turtledove"), of imitative origin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • In fighting video games, when one blocks too much.
    "Man, what a turtle! I can't even get one hit!"

    August 14, 2009

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

    November 19, 2008

  • Perhaps he's related to Bob Dylan.

    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


  • 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

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

    February 19, 2008

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

    February 19, 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

  • Total, driving, pounding ecstasy...

    January 25, 2008

  • 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

  • Weirdnet strikes again!

    December 2, 2007