Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "turtle" []

  • 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(or Chelonia), having horny toothless jaws and a bony or leathery shell into which the head, limbs, and tail can be withdrawn in most species. (noun)
  • Chiefly British A sea turtle. (noun)
  • To hunt for turtles, especially as an occupation. (verb-intransitive)
  • Nautical To capsize. (verb-intransitive)
  • Archaic A turtledove. (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 "turtle" in a sentence
  • "When I entered "Shark, dolphin, sea turtle" yesterday it returned a bogus phylogeny: [sea turtle+[shark+dolphin]]."
  • "The name is a compound of the word _Misril_, signifying great, and _Mackinac_ the Indian word for turtle, from a fancied resemblance of the island to a _great turtle_ lying upon the water."
  • "And they loved that he did not pretty them up, or dumb them down: he wrote in their language, in which a turtle is a turkle, a loose girl is a chippy, and the glowing mist in the trees on the ridge is the willow-wisp, come to spirit them away."