turtle

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English[edit]

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Wikipedia

A Florida box turtle, a land turtle.
A sea turtle.

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Modification of French tortue (probably under the influence of turtledove). See tortoise for more.

Noun[edit]

turtle (plural turtles)

  1. Any land or marine reptile of the order Testudines, characterised by a protective shell enclosing its body.
  2. (Australia, UK) A sea turtle.
  3. (military) An Ancient Roman attack method, where the shields held by the soldiers hide them, not only left, right, front and back, but also from above.
  4. (computing) A type of robot having a domed case (and so resembling the reptile), used in education, especially for making line drawings by means of a computer program.
  5. (computing) An on-screen cursor that serves the same function as a turtle for drawing.
    • 1997, Brian Harvey, Computer Science Logo Style: Symbolic computing
      Depending on which version of Logo you have, the turtle may look like an actual animal with a head and four legs or — as in Berkeley Logo — it may be represented as a triangle.
  6. (printing, historical) The curved plate in which the form is held in a type-revolving cylinder press.
  7. (computing theory) A small element towards the end of a list of items to be bubble sorted, and thus tending to take a long time to be swapped into its correct position. Compare rabbit.
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Verb[edit]

turtle (third-person singular simple present turtles, present participle turtling, simple past and past participle turtled)

  1. To flip over onto the back or top; to turn upside down.
    • 1919, Iowa Highway Commission, Service Bulletin, Issues 15-32‎, page 48
      Were speeding when car turtled [] Auto crashed into curb and turtled.
  2. To turn and swim upside down.
    • 2009, Amy Waeschle, Chasing Waves: A Surfer's Tale of Obsessive Wandering‎, page 149
      I turtled my board beneath it, flipped upright, and started paddling again.
  3. To hunt turtles, especially in the water.
    • 1973, Bernard Nietschmann, Between Land and Water: The Subsistence Ecology of the Miskito Indians, page 153
      Of these, 80 turtled (65%), 26 hunted and turtled (20%), and 18 hunted (15%).
  4. (video games) To build up a large defense force and strike only punctually, rather than going for an offensive strategy.
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Etymology 2[edit]

Old English turtla, ultimately from Latin turtur (turtledove), of imitative origin.

Noun[edit]

turtle (plural turtles)

  1. (now rare, archaic) A turtle dove.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.8:
      The same he tooke, and with a riband new, / In which his Ladies colours were, did bind / About the turtles neck [] .
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