- any of several chiefly terrestrial turtles of the genus Terrapene, of North America, having a hinged plastron that can be tightly shut to enclose and protect the body.
Origin of box turtle
An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805
Also called box tortoise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018