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