Meaning of “tortoise” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"tortoise" in British English

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tortoisenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈtɔː.təs/ us /ˈtɔːr.t̬əs/

Examples from literature

  • A desert tortoise would not survive in a rainforest habitat. 
  • A tortoise has a shell on its back. 
  • Although most tortoises do not eat meat, their bodies do provide meat for others. 
  • Baby tortoises especially are a favorite food for many other species. 
  • If we are not careful, many tortoise species will disappear forever. 
  • Its yellow shell has black spots, giving this tortoise its name. 
  • Just like the tortoise, sea turtles are also suffering from falling numbers. 
  • Many tortoise species are becoming endangered because of illegal trade. 
  • People may not eat tortoises very often, but they do keep them as pets. 
  • The tortoise beats the hare through patience and endurance. 
  • This chain of islands is home to over 100,000 of these giant tortoises. 
  • Tortoises move slowly because they have heavy, hard shells on their backs and short, fat legs. 
  • Turtles and tortoises are two amazing, and quite different, species of reptile. 
  • Turtles and tortoises have always held our fascination. 
  • Turtles and tortoises have had a long relationship with humans. 
  • Unlike many species of turtle, tortoises live only on land. 

(Definition of “tortoise” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"tortoise" in American English

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tortoisenoun [ C ]

us /ˈtɔr·t̬əs/

a turtle, esp. one that lives only on land

(Definition of “tortoise” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)