WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
tur•tle1 /ˈtɝtəl/USA pronunciation   n. [countable],pl. -tles, (esp. when thought of as a group )-tle. 
  1. Reptilesany of various water- and land-dwelling reptiles having the trunk enclosed in a shell.
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsturn turtle, to capsize or turn over completely.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
tur•tle1  (tûrtl), 
n., pl. -tles,  ([esp. collectively])-tle, v., -tled, -tling. 

  • Reptilesany reptile of the order Testudines, comprising aquatic and terrestrial species having the trunk enclosed in a shell consisting of a dorsal carapace and a ventral plastron.
  • Reptiles(not used technically) an aquatic turtle as distinguished from a terrestrial one. Cf.tortoise (def. 1).
  • turn turtle: 
    • [Naut.]to capsize or turn over completely in foundering.
    • to overturn;
      upset:Several of the cars turned turtle in the course of the race.

  • to catch turtles, esp. as a business.
  • Etymology:
    • Medieval Latin tortūca tortoise
    • alteration (influenced by turtle2) of French tortue 1625–35
    turtler, n. 

    tur•tle2  (tûrtl), 
    n. [Archaic.]

      a turtledove.
    • Latin turtur (imitative)
    • Middle English, Old English bef. 1000

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    turtle /ˈtɜːtəl/ n
    1. any of various aquatic chelonian reptiles, esp those of the marine family Chelonidae, having a flattened shell enclosing the body and flipper-like limbs adapted for swimming
    2. turn turtleto capsize
    Etymology: 17th Century: from French tortue tortoise (influenced by turtle²)
    turtle /ˈtɜːtəl/ n
    1. an archaic name for turtledove
    Etymology: Old English turtla, from Latin turtur, of imitative origin; related to German Turteltaube

    'turtle' also found in these entries:

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