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Definition of tortoise


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tor·toise  audio  (tôrts) KEY 

NOUN:
    1. Any of various terrestrial turtles, especially one of the family Testudinidae, characteristically having thick clublike hind limbs and a high, rounded carapace.
    2. Chiefly British A terrestrial or freshwater chelonian.
  1. One that moves slowly; a laggard.

ETYMOLOGY:
Alteration (influenced by porpoise), of Middle English tortuce from Medieval Latin tortca, alteration of Late Latin tartarcha, feminine of tartarchus, of the underworld ; see turtle1


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