- (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
Examples from the Web for testudo
An English lute with a double neck (Testudo theorbata) made about 1650.Musical Myths and Facts, Volume I (of 2)
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
- 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