desert tortoise

noun

Definition of desert tortoise 

: a large burrowing land tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) of arid regions of the southwestern U.S. and adjacent Mexico

Examples of desert tortoise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Councilwoman Sharon Springer asked Deroian if other pets, such as a desert tortoise, would be counted toward the total number of pets in a household. Anthony Clark Carpio, latimes.com, "Household pet limits increased in Burbank," 16 Mar. 2018 There's also Mojave Maxine, a desert tortoise at the Living Desert in Palm Desert. David Montero, latimes.com, "How do you know it's springtime in Vegas? By waiting for Mojave Max to emerge," 29 Mar. 2018 But the tradition still carried on with a new Mojave Max — a 14-year-old desert tortoise living in captivity at Springs Preserve. David Montero, latimes.com, "How do you know it's springtime in Vegas? By waiting for Mojave Max to emerge," 29 Mar. 2018 At another table, docent Maureen Lewis showed off her pet desert tortoise, Capt. Roger Showley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Charles Darwin's birthday marked with cake, a live tortoise at Natural History Museum," 11 Feb. 2018 The desert tortoise represents just one example of our deepening understanding of how ecosystems, animals, and human health intersect. Karla Moeller, Slate Magazine, "The Other Consequence of Trump’s Attack on Federal Lands," 27 June 2017 Locals says the base knows every desert tortoise and jackrabbit that hops the fence. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The Real Story Behind the Myth of Area 51," 14 Sep. 2017 The researchers posit that this is because the ticks came off desert tortoises, which don’t contract the fever. Karla Moeller, Slate Magazine, "The Other Consequence of Trump’s Attack on Federal Lands," 27 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desert tortoise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of desert tortoise

1933, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about desert tortoise

Share desert tortoise

Statistics for desert tortoise

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for desert tortoise

The first known use of desert tortoise was in 1933

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on desert tortoise

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about desert tortoise

Comments on desert tortoise

What made you want to look up desert tortoise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!