tortoise

[ tawr-tuh s ]
/ ˈtɔr təs /

noun

a turtle, especially a terrestrial turtle.
a very slow person or thing.

Origin of tortoise

1350–1400; variant of earlier (15th-century) tortuse, tortose, tortuce, Middle English tortuca < Medieval Latin tortūca, for Late Latin tartarūcha (feminine adj.) of Tartarus (< Greek tartaroûcha), the tortoise being regarded as an infernal animal; Medieval Latin form influenced by Latin tortus crooked, twisted (see tort)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tortoise

British Dictionary definitions for tortoise

tortoise

/ (ˈtɔːtəs) /

noun

any herbivorous terrestrial chelonian reptile of the family Testudinidae, of most warm regions, having a heavy dome-shaped shell and clawed limbsRelated adjectives: chelonian, testudinal
water tortoise another name for terrapin
a slow-moving person
another word for testudo See also giant tortoise

Word Origin for tortoise

C15: probably from Old French tortue (influenced by Latin tortus twisted), from Medieval Latin tortūca, from Late Latin tartarūcha coming from Tartarus, from Greek tartaroukhos; referring to the belief that the tortoise originated in the underworld
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