box turtle

noun
Updated on: 28 Feb 2018

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.

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First Known Use of box turtle

circa 1804

in the meaning defined above

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