What does tortoise mean?

Definitions for tortoise
ˈtɔr təstor·toise

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word tortoise.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tortoisenoun

    usually herbivorous land turtles having clawed elephant-like limbs; worldwide in arid area except Australia and Antarctica


  1. tortoisenoun

    Any of various land-dwelling reptiles, of family Testudinidae, whose body is enclosed in a shell (carapace plus plastron). The animal can withdraw its head and four legs partially into the shell, providing some protection from predators.

  2. Etymology: tortuse, tortuce, tortuge, from tortuca, possibly from tartarucha, from tartaruchus, from ταρταροῦχος, because it used to be thought that tortoises and turtles came from the underworld; or from tortus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tortoisenoun

    Etymology: tortue, French.

    In his needy shop a tortoise hung,
    An alligator stuft. William Shakespeare.

    A living tortoise being turned upon its back, not being able to make use of its paws for the returning of itself, because they could only bend towards the belly, it could help itself only by its neck and head; sometimes one side, sometimes another, by pushing against the ground, to rock itself as in a cradle, to find out where the inequality of the ground might permit it to roll its shell. John Ray, on the Creation.

    Their targets in a tortoise cast, the foes
    Secure advancing, to the turrets rose. John Dryden, Æn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tortoisenoun

    any one of numerous species of reptiles of the order Testudinata

  2. Tortoisenoun

    same as Testudo, 2

  3. Tortoisenoun

    having a color like that of a tortoise's shell, black with white and orange spots; -- used mostly to describe cats of that color

  4. Tortoisenoun

    a tortoise-shell cat


  1. Tortoise

    Tortoises are a family of land-dwelling reptiles in the order Testudines. Like their marine relatives, the sea turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise endoskeleton has the adaptation of having an external shell fused to the ribcage. Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. They are usually diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are generally reclusive animals.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tortoise

    tor′tis, or -tois, n. together with turtles, a well-defined order of reptiles, distinguished especially by the dorsal (carapace) and ventral (plastron) shields which protect the body.—n. Tor′toise-shell, the horny epidermic plate of a species of turtle.—adj. of the colour of the foregoing, mottled in yellow and black. [O. Fr. tortis—L. tortus, twisted.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. tortoise

    In military antiquity, the form of battle adopted by the Greeks in besieging fortified towns. It served to protect the besiegers in their approach to the walls. This invention was formed by the soldiers placing their shields over their heads, in a sloping position, similar to the tiles of a house. The first rank stood erect, the second stooped a little, the third still more, and the last rank knelt. They were thus protected from the missile weapons of the foe, as they advanced or stood under the walls of an enemy. The chelone was similar to the testudo of the Romans. See Testudo.

Suggested Resources

  1. tortoise

    Song lyrics by tortoise -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by tortoise on the Lyrics.com website.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tortoise in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tortoise in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of tortoise in a Sentence

  1. E. B. White:

    Deathlessness should be arrived at in a... haphazard fashion. Loving fame as much as any man, we shall carve our initials in the shell of a tortoise and turn him loose in a peat bog.

  2. Jorge Carrion:

    He's contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Espanola, there's a feeling of happiness to have the possibility of returning that tortoise to his natural state.

  3. Washington Tapia:

    SOLAR STORMS MIGHT BE CAUSING GRAY WHALES TO GET LOST The famed Galapagos Conservancyas giant tortoise named Diego fathered 40 percent of all tortoises on Espanola Island in Galapagos Conservancyas. ( San Diego Zoo) The 175-pound Diego is a Chelonoidis hoodensis, a species only found in the wild on the island ofEspanola, according to AFP. He reportedly fathered an estimated 800 offspring as of 2016. He was brought to the U.S. between 1928 and 1933 and placed in a breeding center on the Galapagos Conservancyas island of Santa Cruz, after his species was determined to be critically endangered in the 1960s, according to San Diego Zoo. Based on the results of the last censusconducted at the end of 2019and all the data available since 1960 both of the island and its tortoise population... the conclusion was that the island has sufficient conditions to maintain the tortoise population, which will continue to grow normally even without any new repatriation of juveniles.

  4. Justin Gerlach:

    The giant tortoise pursued the tern chick along a log, finally killing the chick and eating it, it was a very slow encounter, with the tortoise moving at its normal, slow walking pace – the whole interaction took seven minutes and was quite horrifying.

  5. Jeb Bush:

    I got an email from brother George saying, 'Well done, Tortoise,' that's my new nickname because I told him I'm the tortoise in the race: slow, steady progress. Stay focused, stay steady, do the right thing each and every day.

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    having or resembling a stinger or barb
    • A. aculeate
    • B. epidemic
    • C. eloquent
    • D. omnifarious

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