Tortoise
Tortoise Tor"toise, n. [OE. tortuce, fr. OF. tortis crooked, fr. L. tortus twisted, crooked, contorted, p. p. of torquere, tortum, to wind; cf. F. tortue tortoise, LL. tortuca, tartuca, Pr. tortesa crookedness, tortis crooked. so called in allusion to its crooked feet. See {Torture}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of reptiles of the order {Testudinata}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The term is applied especially to the land and fresh-water species, while the marine species are generally called turtles, but the terms tortoise and turtle are used synonymously by many writers. See {Testudinata}, {Terrapin}, and {Turtle}. [1913 Webster]

2. (Rom. Antiq.) Same as {Testudo}, 2. [1913 Webster]

{Box tortoise}, {Land tortoise}, etc. See under {Box}, {Land}, etc.

{Painted tortoise}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Painted turtle}, under {Painted}.

{Soft-shell tortoise}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Trionyx}.

{Spotted tortoise}. (Zo["o]l.) A small American fresh-water tortoise ({Chelopus guttatus} or {Nanemys guttatus}) having a blackish carapace on which are scattered round yellow spots.

{Tortoise beetle} (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of small tortoise-shaped beetles. Many of them have a brilliant metallic luster. The larv[ae] feed upon the leaves of various plants, and protect themselves beneath a mass of dried excrement held over the back by means of the caudal spines. The golden tortoise beetle ({Cassida aurichalcea}) is found on the morning-glory vine and allied plants.

{Tortoise plant}. (Bot.) See {Elephant's foot}, under {Elephant}.

{Tortoise shell}, the substance of the shell or horny plates of several species of sea turtles, especially of the hawkbill turtle. It is used in inlaying and in the manufacture of various ornamental articles.

{Tortoise-shell butterfly} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of handsomely colored butterflies of the genus {Aglais}, as {Aglais Milberti}, and {Aglais urtic[ae]}, both of which, in the larva state, feed upon nettles.

{Tortoise-shell turtle} (Zo["o]l.), the hawkbill turtle. See {Hawkbill}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tortoise — Datos generales Origen Chicago, Illinois, Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tortoise — Жанр построк Годы 1990 по сей день Страна …   Википедия

  • TORTOISE — (Mod. Heb. צָב), a reptile. In Israel there are several species of both land and water tortoises; the latter lives in both sweet and salt water. Some commentators identify the צָב (ẓav), enumerated among the unclean reptiles (Lev. 11:29), with… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • tortoise — (n.) 1550s, altered (perhaps by influence of porpoise) from Middle English tortuse (late 15c.), tortuce (mid 15c.), tortuge (late 14c.), from M.L. tortuca (mid 13c.), perhaps from L.L. tartaruchus of the underworld (see TURTLE (Cf. turtle)).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • tortoise — [tôrt′əs] n. pl. tortoises or tortoise [ME tortuce < ML tortuca, altered (prob. by assoc. with L tortus, twisted) < VL * tartaruca < ? LGr tartarouchos, evil demon, orig., controlling Tartarus] a turtle, esp. one that lives on land, as… …   English World dictionary

  • tortoise — should be pronounced taw tǝs. The form taw toyz, with the second syllable like poise, is non standard …   Modern English usage

  • tortoise — ► NOUN ▪ a slow moving land reptile with a scaly or leathery domed shell into which it can retract its head and legs. ORIGIN Latin tortuca …   English terms dictionary

  • Tortoise — Taxobox name = Tortoises image width = 250px image caption = A Galápagos Giant Tortoise regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Reptilia ordo = Testudines subordo = Cryptodira superfamilia = Testudinoidea familia = Testudinidae subdivision… …   Wikipedia

  • Tortoise — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Tortoise (homonymie). Tortoise …   Wikipédia en Français

  • tortoise — /tawr teuhs/, n. 1. a turtle, esp. a terrestrial turtle. 2. a very slow person or thing. 3. testudo (def. 1). [1350 1400; var. of earlier (15th century) tortuse, tortose, tortuce, ME tortuca < ML tortuca, for LL tartarucha (fem. adj.) of Tartarus …   Universalium

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