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testudo

[te-stoo-doh, -styoo-]
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noun, plural tes·tu·di·nes [te-stood-n-eez, -styood-] /tɛˈstud nˌiz, -ˈstyud-/.
  1. (among the ancient Romans) a movable shelter with a strong and usually fireproof arched roof, used for protection of soldiers in siege operations.
  2. a shelter formed by overlapping oblong shields, held by soldiers above their heads.
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Origin of testudo

1350–1400 for earlier sense “tumor”; 1600–10 for def 1; Middle English < Latin testūdō tortoise, tortoise shell, siege engine; akin to test2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for testudo

Historical Examples

  • An English lute with a double neck (Testudo theorbata) made about 1650.

    Musical Myths and Facts, Volume I (of 2)

    Carl Engel

  • The word for lyre in Greek (χέλυς) and in Latin (testudo) means also a tortoise.

    Astronomical Myths

    John F. Blake

  • The testudo Mydas, or sea-turtle, frequent the bays of Antigua.

  • The sow was a military engine, resembling the Roman testudo.

  • It was a gigantic tortoise—a specimen of Testudo elephantopus—a huge cumbersome brute.

    The Blue Germ

    Martin Swayne


British Dictionary definitions for testudo

testudo

noun plural -dines (-dɪˌniːz)
  1. a form of shelter used by the ancient Roman Army for protection against attack from above, consisting either of a mobile arched structure or of overlapping shields held by the soldiers over their heads
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin: a tortoise, from testa a shell
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