tortoise

noun tor·toise \ ˈtȯr-təs \
Updated on: 17 Dec 2017

Definition of tortoise

1 : any of a family (Testudinidae) of terrestrial turtles; broadly : turtle
2 : someone or something regarded as slow or laggard

Recent Examples of tortoise from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of tortoise

Middle English tortu, tortuse, from Anglo-French tortue — more at turtle


TORTOISE Defined for English Language Learners

tortoise

noun

Definition of tortoise for English Language Learners

  • : a kind of turtle that lives on land


TORTOISE Defined for Kids

tortoise

noun tor·toise \ ˈtȯr-təs \

Definition of tortoise for Students

1 : a usually large turtle that lives on land
2 : turtle


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