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See also: Testudo



Borrowed from Latin testūdō (tortoise, turtle, lyre, type of military shelter).


testudo (plural testudos or testudoes or testudines)

  1. (Ancient Rome, military, historical) A shelter formed by a body of troops holding their shields or targets close together over their heads.
    Synonym: sheltron
  2. A shelter of similar shape for miners, etc.
  3. (anatomy) The fornix.
  4. (music) A kind of lyre; so called in allusion to the lyre of Mercury, fabled to have been made of the shell of a tortoise.
  5. (pathology) An encysted tumour.


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “testudo”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)




Borrowed from Latin testūdō (tortoise).


  • (file)
  • IPA(key): [tesˈtudo]
  • Rhymes: -udo
  • Hyphenation: tes‧tu‧do


testudo (accusative singular testudon, plural testudoj, accusative plural testudojn)

  1. tortoise
  2. turtle
    Synonym: kelonio

Derived terms[edit]



From testa (fragment of earthenware; shell or covering).



testūdō f (genitive testūdinis); third declension

  1. tortoise, turtle
  2. tortoise-shell
  3. (by extension) lyre, lute
  4. (by extension, military) covering, shed, shelter
  5. (by extension, in buildings) arch, vault
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 1.505-506:
      Tum foribus dīvae, mediā testūdine templī,
      saepta armīs, soliōque altē subnīxa resēdit.
      Then, [facing the] doorway of the goddess [Juno], [there] in the middle beneath the vault of the temple, surrounded by armed guards, and supported by the lofty throne, [Dido] remained seated.


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative testūdō testūdinēs
Genitive testūdinis testūdinum
Dative testūdinī testūdinibus
Accusative testūdinem testūdinēs
Ablative testūdine testūdinibus
Vocative testūdō testūdinēs

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Italian: testuggine
  • Neapolitan: stuscene
  • English: testudo
  • Esperanto: testudo
  • French: testudo
  • Spanish: testudo


  • testudo”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • testudo”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • testudo in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • testudo in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to advance to the walls protected by a covering of shields: testudine facta moenia subire (B. G. 2. 6)
  • testudo”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • testudo in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • testudo”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin