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Definition of "tortoiseshell" [tortoiseshell]

  • The mottled, horny, translucent, brownish covering of the carapace of certain tortoises or turtles, especially the hawksbill, used to make combs, jewelry, and other articles. (noun)
  • A synthetic imitation of natural tortoiseshell. (noun)
  • See hawksbill. (noun)
  • A domestic cat having fur with brown, black, and yellowish markings. (noun)
  • Any of several butterflies, chiefly of the genus Nymphalis, having wings with orange, black, and brown markings. (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 "tortoiseshell" in a sentence
  • "My tortoiseshell is plopped on my lap now purring and nosing my left (as I type) as if to say, “ear rub! now!”"
  • "Round-frame Gandhi-style sunglasses in tortoiseshell completed the look and I wore the same outfit for a peaceful hike up Ranthambore Fort later on, which offers breathtaking views of the Park from the top."
  • "After a struggle I was able to divine that the tortoiseshell was a female and the black and white a male."
Words like "tortoiseshell"