- belonging or pertaining to the order Chelonia, comprising the turtles.
- a turtle.
Origin of chelonian
1820–30; < New Latin Cheloni(a) (< Greek chelṓn(ē) turtle + New Latin -ia, neuter plural noun suffix) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for chelonian
Say saw one on a chelonian, and others on tritons and frogs.Animal Parasites and Messmates
P. J. Van Beneden
Among Chelonian reptiles that region of the brain is more remarkable for height.Dragons of the Air
H. G. Seeley
The eighth group is assigned by President Hitchcock to the Chelonian or turtle tribe.
The Scotch footsteps are situated in the old red sandstone, and are those of a Chelonian.
The Chelonian tracks are two in number: the longest measures four feet ten inches; the shorter, two feet nine inches.
- any reptile of the order Chelonia, including the tortoises and turtles, in which most of the body is enclosed in a protective bony capsule
- of, relating to, belonging to, or characteristic of the Chelonia
C19: from New Latin Chelōnia, from Greek khelōnē tortoise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- Any of various reptiles of the order Chelonia (or Testudines), which includes the turtles and tortoises. Chelonians lack teeth and usually have a hard shell that protects the body and consists of bony plates fused to the vertebrae and ribs. Unlike all other living reptiles, the skulls of chelonians lack temporal openings, which is characteristic of the earliest known reptiles (called anapsids). Chelonians evolved during the late Permian or Triassic Period and have changed little since.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.