Dictionary.com

tortoise

[ tawr-tuhs ]
/ ˈtɔr təs /
Save This Word!

noun

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

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!

In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

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. 2021

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
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
Learning At Home Just Got Easier!