snapping turtle


Definition of snapping turtle

: either of two large American freshwater turtles (family Chelydridae) with a large head, powerful jaws, a long tail, and a strong musky odor:
a : one (Chelydra serpentina) that has the head covered with smooth skin, has large plates in a double row on the underside of the tail, and is distributed from eastern Canada to Central America

Illustration of snapping turtle

Illustration of snapping turtle

snapping turtle a

Examples of snapping turtle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most sought after include box turtles, diamondback terrapins, mud and musk turtles, softshell turtles and snapping turtles. Kimberly Miller, USA TODAY, "Officials are cracking down on turtle smugglers in Florida," 22 Feb. 2020 The government allows 54 wild species to be bred on farms and sold for consumption, including minks, ostriches, hamsters, snapping turtles, and Siamese crocodiles. National Geographic, "More Chinese push to end wildlife markets as WHO declares coronavirus emergency," 30 Jan. 2020 In March , state officials seized and euthanized Crosland's snapping turtle, which are considered an invasive species in Idaho. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Idaho teacher accused of animal cruelty pleads not guilty at court appearance Tuesday," 10 July 2018 The swimmers described the underwater beauty such as seeing a snapping turtle the size of a hula hoop, and the canoeists talked about the above-water beauty, such as bald eagles and wolves howling. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "St. Paul team swims and paddles Boundary Waters in mine protest," 27 July 2019 In Indiana, the eastern snapping turtle, the smooth softshell turtle and the spiny softshell turtle are considered game species and can be taken by noodling (sometimes called fingering). Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana noodling: Inside the Hoosier tradition of catching snapping turtles by hand," 14 July 2019 Historians speculate snapping turtle meat was served at the first Thanksgiving. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Snapping turtles: 5 things you need to know," 14 July 2019 The volunteer rescue treats turtles as big as 14-inch snapping turtles and as small as silver dollar-sized eastern box turtles. Scottie Andrew And Nadeem Muaddi, CNN, "Sometimes, all it takes to save an injured turtle is a bra. No, seriously," 29 June 2019 There are beavers, muskrats and brown bats, along with snapping turtles and Easter milk snakes. Rich Heileman,, "Berea’s Old Stone House still in limbo: Around The Town," 14 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of snapping turtle

1784, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of snapping turtle was in 1784

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Cite this Entry

“Snapping turtle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for snapping turtle

snapping turtle


English Language Learners Definition of snapping turtle

: a large American turtle that has strong jaws and that is sometimes used for food

snapping turtle

snap·​ping tur·​tle | \ ˌsna-piŋ-ˈtər-tᵊl \

Kids Definition of snapping turtle

: a large American turtle that catches its prey with a snap of the powerful jaws

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