ter·​ra·​pin | \ ˈter-ə-pən How to pronounce terrapin (audio) \

Definition of terrapin

: any of various aquatic turtles (family Emydidae) especially : diamondback terrapin

Illustration of terrapin

Illustration of terrapin

Examples of terrapin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sea-level rise due to climate change could also destroy terrapin nesting habitat. National Geographic, "Diamondback terrapin," 26 Mar. 2020 The group initially released the terrapin in 2000 and hadn't seen the animal since, according to a post by the Wetlands Institute Facebook page this past Monday. Fox News, "Rescued turtle back manages to return to the group that saved the animal nearly 2 decades ago," 22 July 2019 Aside from being Alabama’s state reptile and a sharp looking terrapin, the Alabama red-bellied turtle is just one of the multitude of species inhabiting the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, one of the richest ecosystems on the planet. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Alabama’s state reptile threatened by roadways, but making slow comeback," 27 Oct. 2019 This fresh, naturalistic influence animates several bold objects here — a tureen roiling with waves and fish that recalls Hokusai, a fruit plate with flies crawling over flower petals, a craggy, glittering terrapin tureen in which to serve soup. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "With this glittering display of silver, a Providence rags-to-riches tale," 3 July 2019 Lethal Strike Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins have been on Earth for more than 200 million years, but some species are now among the most endangered animals on the planet. Stefan Lovgren, National Geographic, "In Cambodia, giant turtles come back from the brink," 23 Apr. 2019 And there’s a terrapin that pays homage to the cook’s culinary prowess. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "In its newly renovated property, Walters Art Museum honors a woman once enslaved there," 5 June 2018 Hughes notes that Grant apparently was a highly skilled cook — her recipe for terrapin soup is daunting — and wasn’t above indulging in mild bragging to underscore her value to the Thomas family. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "In its newly renovated property, Walters Art Museum honors a woman once enslaved there," 5 June 2018 Kayak alongside otters, terrapins and coastal birds on the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center’s (bayrestoration.org/) Marshy Creek tour. Stephanie Citron, baltimoresun.com, "Can’t-miss detours along Maryland's Eastern Shore to explore on your beach trip this summer," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrapin.' 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 terrapin

1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terrapin

alteration of earlier torope, from Virginia Algonquian *to·rəpe·w

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Time Traveler for terrapin

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrapin was in 1613

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Statistics for terrapin

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Terrapin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrapin. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for terrapin


How to pronounce terrapin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of terrapin

: a kind of small turtle that lives in water


ter·​ra·​pin | \ ˈter-ə-pən How to pronounce terrapin (audio) \

Kids Definition of terrapin

: a North American turtle that lives in or near fresh or somewhat salty water

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More from Merriam-Webster on terrapin

Spanish Central: Translation of terrapin

Nglish: Translation of terrapin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about terrapin

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