Definition of


  1. (noun, animal) any of various aquatic and land reptiles having a bony shell and flipper-like limbs for swimming
  2. (noun, artifact) a sweater or jersey with a high close-fitting collar
  3. (verb, competition) hunt for turtles, especially as an occupation
  4. (verb, motion) overturn accidentally

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Turtle

  1. reptile, 1609, "marine tortoise," from Fr. tortue "turtle, tortoise," of unknown origin. The Eng. word is perhaps a sailors' mauling of the French one, infl. by the similar sounding turtle (2). Later extended to land tortoises. Turtleneck "close-fitting collar" is recorded from 1895. more
  2. "turtledove," O.E. turtle, dissimilation of L. turtur "turtledove," a reduplicated form imitative of the bird's call. Graceful, harmonious and affectionate to its mate, hence a term of endearment in M.E. Turtledove is attested from c.1300. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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