from The Century Dictionary.
- An order of Reptilia, having toothless jaws fashioned like the beak of a bird, two pairs of limbs fitted for walking or swimming, and the body incased in a bony box or leathery shell, consisting of a carapace and a plastron, to the formation of which the ribs and dorsal vertebræ are specially modified; the turtles and tortoises.
- In a restricted sense, one of three suborders of Chelonia, contrasted with Athecæ and Trionychoidea, and containing the whole of the order excepting the Sphargididæ and the Trionychidæ.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun plural (Zoöl.) An order of reptiles which includes the turtles and tortoises. The body is covered by a shell consisting of an upper or dorsal shell, called the carapace, and a lower or ventral shell, called the plastron, each of which consists of several plates.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun tortoises and turtles
Sorry, no etymologies found.
_Tortoise_, -- Of the _testudinata_ the land tortoises are numerous, but present no remarkable features beyond the beautiful marking of the starred variety , which is common, in the north-western province around Putlam and Chilaw, and is distinguished by the bright yellow rays which diversify the deep black of its dorsal shield.