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A tortoise

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English tortuse, tortuce, tortuge, from Medieval Latin tortuca, of uncertain origin. May be from Late Latin tartarūcha, from Late Latin tartarūchus, from Ancient Greek ταρταροῦχος (tartaroûkhos, holder of Tartaros, Tartarus, the land of the dead in ancient stories), because it used to be thought that tortoises and turtles came from the underworld and they were commonly paired with such infernal beasts; or from Latin tortus (twisted).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

tortoise (plural tortoises)

  1. Any of various land-dwelling reptiles, of family Testudinidae, whose body is enclosed in a shell (carapace plus plastron). The animal can withdraw its head and four legs partially into the shell, providing some protection from predators.

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