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Definition of turtle
1a slow-moving reptile, enclosed in a scaly or leathery domed shell into which it can retract its head and thick legs.
- Family Testudinidae: numerous genera and species, including the European tortoise (Testudo graeca)
2 (also sea turtle) a large marine reptile with a bony or leathery shell and flippers, coming ashore annually on sandy beaches to lay eggs.
- Families Cheloniidae (seven species) and Dermochelyidae (the leatherback)
the flesh of a sea turtle, especially the green turtle, used chiefly for soup. 3a freshwater reptile related to the turtles, typically having a flattened shell. Called terrapin in South Africa and India and tortoise in Australia.
- Order Chelonia: several families, in particular Emydidae and Kinosternidae
North American any reptile of the order Chelonia, including the terrapins and tortoises. 4 Computing a directional cursor in a computer graphics system that can be instructed to move around a screen.