- (among the ancient Romans) a movable shelter with a strong and usually fireproof arched roof, used for protection of soldiers in siege operations.
- a shelter formed by overlapping oblong shields, held by soldiers above their heads.
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
- 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
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