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snapping turtle

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noun
  1. either of two large, edible, freshwater turtles of the family Chelydridae, of North and Central America, having a large head and powerful hooked jaws, especially the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina.

Origin of snapping turtle

An Americanism dating back to 1775–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for snapping turtle

Historical Examples

  • "The snapping-turtle must be at his work," said Constans to himself.

    The Doomsman

    Van Tassel Sutphen

  • Nothing but sand will suit the purpose of the snapping-turtle.

  • The flesh of the snapping-turtle is delicate, tender, and of rich flavor.

  • But when one has lived all one's life with a snapping-turtle, one doesn't mind.

    The End Of The World

    Edward Eggleston

  • My brother has a snapping-turtle, and a white rabbit with brownish spots on it, and my brother and I have three kittens.


British Dictionary definitions for snapping turtle

snapping turtle

noun
  1. any large aggressive North American river turtle of the family Chelydridae, esp Chelydra serpentina (common snapping turtle), having powerful hooked jaws and a rough shellAlso called: snapper
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