A dog formerly used in a treadmill to turn a roasting spit. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "turnspit" in a sentence
"Buffon calls the turnspit the _Basset à jambes torses_, but some of the breed are said to have straight legs."
"At the mention of the word “wheel” several turnspit dogs, who had been brought to church as foot warmers, ran for the door."
"The picture above is of Whiskey, the last surviving specimen of a turnspit dog, albeit stuffed."