[ ter-uh-pin ]
/ ˈtɛr ə pɪn /


any of several edible North American turtles of the family Emydidae, inhabiting fresh or brackish waters, especially the diamondback terrapin: some are threatened or endangered.
any of various similar turtles.


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Origin of terrapin

1605–15; earlier torope (< Virginia Algonquian < Eastern Algonquian *to·rəpe·w variety of turtle > Munsee Delaware tó·lpe·w) + -in, of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for terrapin

British Dictionary definitions for terrapin

/ (ˈtɛrəpɪn) /


any of various web-footed chelonian reptiles that live on land and in fresh water and feed on small aquatic animals: family EmydidaeAlso called: water tortoise

Word Origin for terrapin

C17: of Algonquian origin; compare Delaware torope turtle
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