- a turtle, especially a terrestrial turtle.
- a very slow person or thing.
- testudo(def 1).
Origin of tortoise
Examples from the Web for tortoise
Tortoise disqualified for technical reasons, first place awarded to Sputnik hare.Why Does the USA Depend on Russian Rockets to Get Us Into Space?
P. J. O’Rourke
June 22, 2014
The tortoise Hollande, early on in his bid to become the Socialist nominee, had only two reporters on his beat.Against All Odds, Can Sarkozy Pull Out an Election Win vs. Hollande?
May 4, 2012
Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Pattinson may be the tortoise to Lautner's hare.Is He Sabotaging His Career?
March 9, 2010
She is married with two children, two dogs, a cat and a tortoise.Revenge of the Wallflower
June 23, 2009
I had, too, and I own it was absurd, a tortoise named Chrysagre.My Double Life
The tortoise in the right road will beat a racer in the wrong.Self-Help
With these words he took his tortoise on his back and went off.The Chinese Fairy Book
Gone were the figs and almonds, the indigo, ivory, tortoise shells.The Harbor
Nolens Volens tries it by a process like "Achilles and the Tortoise."A Tangled Tale
Word Origin and History for tortoise
1550s, altered (perhaps by influence of porpoise) from Middle English tortuse (late 15c.), tortuce (mid-15c.), tortuge (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin tortuca (mid-13c.), perhaps from Late Latin tartaruchus "of the underworld" (see turtle). Others propose a connection with Latin tortus "twisted," based on the shape of the feet. The classical Latin word was testudo, from testa "shell." First record of tortoise shell as a coloring pattern is from 1782.