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 Lamb explained that the snapping turtle spends the warmer months in that pond before hibernating in a pond next to the police station. Ian Lenahan, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2022 In mid-November, less than two months after his surgeries, the Center for Wildlife team placed the snapping turtle in water for the first time since it was hit. Ian Lenahan, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2022 Eliot: After fending off death, a critically injured common snapping turtle that became a viral sensation after being struck by a motorist last year has been released back into the wild. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 In the midst of the story is a snapping turtle that may be hundreds of years old, if age and time actually exist in this place. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 14 Mar. 2022 And, most importantly, how did this snapping turtle friend end up roaming around Baltimore City?! Kelli Bender,, 25 Jan. 2022 The spill, more than 20 times bigger than the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, oozed into yards and streams for miles, suffocating every frog, fish and snapping turtle in its path and contaminating the county’s drinking water. New York Times, 2 Jan. 2022 Several dilapidated versions of real-life landmarks make appearances, like San Francisco’s Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge, as do massive new enemy robots like a hulking mammoth and snapping turtle. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2020 In fact, her head was gone, bitten off by a snapping turtle. Sarah Paley, The New Yorker, 16 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near snapping turtle

snapping tool

snapping turtle


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Last Updated

31 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Snapping turtle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for snapping turtle

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

More from Merriam-Webster on snapping turtle Encyclopedia article about snapping turtle


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