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Etymology 1[edit]

turtle +‎ -ing


turtling (uncountable)

  1. The hunting of turtles (the reptiles).
  2. (nautical) Turning turtle.
  3. (figuratively) Any slow progression or build-up.
  4. (games (board, card, and computer)) A defensive strategy of avoiding conflict, usually in a fixed position.



  1. present participle of turtle

Etymology 2[edit]

From turtle +‎ -ling.


turtling (plural turtlings)

  1. A baby turtle.
    • 1912, William Vaughn Moody, The poems and plays of William Vaughn Moody:
      Drowsy with dawn, barely asail, Buzzes the blue-bottle over the shale, Scared from the pool by the leaping trout; And the brood of turtlings clamber out On the log by their oozy house.
    • 1997, in Sportdiving (magazine), volumes 59–64,[1] page 94:
      The turtle-lings, kept in safety until they are three months old, are then released into the wild.
    • 2012, Alexandra de Vries, Shawn Blore, Frommer's Brazil:
      Fifty days later, more or less, the little turtlings hatch, dig their way up through the sand, and make a mad scramble to the sea.