diamondback terrapin


: any of several terrapins (genus Malaclemys) formerly widely distributed in salt marshes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts but now much restricted

Illustration of diamondback terrapin

Illustration of <span class=syl>diamondback terrapin</span>
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Examples of diamondback terrapin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the late eighteen-hundreds, great and snowy egrets were killed to supply white feathers for women’s hats; a generation later, diamondback terrapin turtles were harvested for a gourmet soup trend, and got a reprieve only in 1920, when Prohibition made scarce a key ingredient: sherry. Erik Baard, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2022 An adorable diamondback terrapin baby turtle found in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Cheryl Maguire, Discover Magazine, 14 Feb. 2022 The diamondback terrapin became vulnerable to extinction due to pet trading and human consumption over the last century (they were once commonly eaten in soup). Cheryl Maguire, Discover Magazine, 14 Feb. 2022 In 2014, 11 baby diamondback terrapin turtles were found inside a FedEx package at the Calgary International Airport. Longreads, 17 Nov. 2021 The hatchling — a diamondback terrapin born from a nest in West Barnstable — has two heads and six legs, making the reptile, whose species is already threatened, that much rarer. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, 12 Oct. 2021 The northern diamondback terrapin is a medium-sized turtle that ranges in length from 4 to 5.5 inches in males to 6 to 9 inches in females, according to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. Anna Sturla, CNN, 9 May 2021 Not exactly, but hundreds of diamondback terrapin hatchlings have been rescued from subterranean storm drains along the Jersey Shore. Fox News, 8 May 2021 The school’s mascot is a diamondback terrapin named Testudo. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 19 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diamondback terrapin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diamondback terrapin was in 1887

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Cite this Entry

“Diamondback terrapin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diamondback%20terrapin. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

diamondback terrapin

: any of several edible terrapins of coastal salt marshes of the southeastern U.S.

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