Definition of box turtle
1 : any of several North American land turtles (genus Terrapene) capable of withdrawing into their shell and closing it by hinged joints in the lower half
— called also box tortoise
2 : any of several chiefly semiaquatic, Asian turtles (genera Cuora and Pyxidea of the family Geoemydidae) that have a carapace with a median keel and are capable of withdrawing into their shell and closing it by hinged joints in the plastron
Note: The Asian box turtles are not closely related to the North American box turtles.
Keep scrolling for more
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
Words at Play
Ask the Editors
- On Contractions of Multiple Words
- A Look at Uncommon Onomatopoeia
- Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?
- Where in the World? A Quiz Take the quiz
- Advanced Vocabulary Quiz Take the quiz
- Spell It Take the quiz
- SCRABBLE® Sprint Play the game