• Three puppies look curiously at a tortoise
    Three puppies look curiously at a tortoise
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n tortoise usually herbivorous land turtles having clawed elephant-like limbs; worldwide in arid area except Australia and Antarctica
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Hare and the Tortoise The Hare and the Tortoise
The giant land-tortoise The giant land-tortoise

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The desert tortoise can live without having to drink any water. It extracts the water it needs from the vegetation it eats
    • Tortoise (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of reptiles of the order Testudinata.
    • Tortoise (Rom. Antiq) Same as Testudo, 2.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: It is believed that the Greek poet Aeschylus was killed when a bird flying overhead dropped a tortoise and struck him. Birds have been known to carry shellfish to great heights and drop them in order crack the shells.
    • n tortoise An American nymphalid butterfly, Eugonia j-album: more fully called the Compton tortoise.
    • n tortoise Same as tortoise-beetle.
    • n tortoise A turtle; any chelonian or testudinate; a member of the order Chelonia or Testudinata (see the technical terms). It is not known what species the name originally designated; probably a land-tortoise of southern Europe, as Testudo græca. There is a tendency to distinguish terrestrial chelonians from aquatic ones, the former as tortoises, the latter as turtles; yet tortoiseshell is fixed as the name of the commercial product of certain sea-turtles. (See box-tortoise, land-tortoise, terrapin, turtle, mud-turtle, sea-turtle.) Tortoises or some kind are found in most parts, and especially the warmer parts, of the world; the species are numerous—those of the land and of fresh waters much more so than the marine forms. See also cuts under carapace, Chelonia, Chelonidæ, Chelydidæ, Cinixyinæ, Cinosternum, Cistudo, plastron, Pyxis, Testudo, Testudinata, and terrapin.
    • n tortoise A movable roof formerly used to protect the soldiers who worked a battering-ram. Sometimes it was formed by the soldiers holding their shields flat over their heads so as to overlap one another. See testudo.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Tortoises drink water through their noses.
    • n Tortoise tor′tis or -tois together with turtles, a well-defined order of reptiles, distinguished especially by the dorsal (carapace) and ventral (plastron) shields which protect the body
    • adj Tortoise of the colour of the foregoing, mottled in yellow and black
    • ***


  • Bhagavad Gita
    Bhagavad Gita
    “Even as a tortoise draws in its limbs, the wise can draw in their senses at will.”
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay
    “Parrots, tortoises and redwoods live a longer life than men do; Men a longer life than dogs do; Dogs a longer life than love does.”
  • John Major
    John Major
    “The first requirement of politics is not intellect or stamina but patience. Politics is a very long run game and the tortoise will usually beat the hare.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. tortuce, fr. OF. tortis, crooked, fr. L. tortus, twisted, crooked, contorted, p. p. of torquere, tortum, to wind; cf. F. tortue, tortoise, LL. tortuca, tartuca, Pr. tortesa, crookedness, tortis, crooked. so called in allusion to its crooked feet. See Torture


In literature:

The tortoises began in this series of rocks.
"Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20)" by Various
It is a tortoise in its movements compared with a Beachogram.
"Five Months at Anzac" by Joseph Lievesley Beeston
The rooks return to the roost trees, and the tortoise begins to bury himself for the winter.
"Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 276" by Various
Turtles were abundant on the coast, and a freshwater tortoise was found inland.
"Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by George Grey
Drawings on the walls signified that this was the house of the Tortoise.
"The Grey Cloak" by Harold MacGrath
They carry tortoise-shell and many pearls.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898" by Emma Helen Blair
Oh, dear Madame Tortoise, if you knew how busy I am to-day.
"The Curious Book of Birds" by Abbie Farwell Brown
The tortoise beginning to cry and squeal, 'It is of no use crying,' said the Cogia, 'you must now learn to work.
"The Turkish Jester or, The Pleasantries of Cogia Nasr Eddin Effendi" by Nasreddin Hoca
Then he choked the creature, and with a gouge of grey iron he scooped out the marrow of the hill tortoise.
"The Homeric Hymns A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological" by Andrew Lang
There is a middle between velocity and torpidity; the Italians say, it is not necessary to be a stag, but we ought not to be a tortoise.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3)" by Isaac Disraeli

In poetry:

"The tortoise always comes too late;
The hare a day ahead.
I'd hate to be the engineer
Of the Wild Beast Limited."
"August" by Nancy Byrd Turner
Upon an empty tortoise-shell
He stretched some chords, and drew
Music that made men's bosoms swell
Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with dew.
"The Shepherd Of King Admetus" by James Russell Lowell
In a garden of pebbles and insects
To roam, and feel the slow heart beat
Tortoise-wise, the first bell sounding
From the warm blood, in the dark-creation morning.
"Tortoise Family Connections" by D H Lawrence
"The tortoise and the hare, Tom,
Set out, at each his pace;
The hare it was the fleeter,
The tortoise won the race;
And since the world's beginning
This ever was the case.
"The King Of Brentford’s Testament" by William Makepeace Thackeray
Every sober clam below her,
Every sage and grave pearl-grower,
Shut his rusty valves the tighter;
Crow called to crow complaining,
And old tortoises sat craning
Their leathern necks to sight her.
"Voyage of the Jettie" by John Greenleaf Whittier
As for papa,
He snaps when I offer him his offspring,
Just as he snaps when I poke a bit of stick at him,
Because he is irascible this morning, an irascible tortoise
Being touched with love, and devoid of fatherliness.
"Tortoise Family Connections" by D H Lawrence

In news:

DNA surprise spurs hunt for "extinct" Galápagos tortoises.
Daily Update on Fiscal Cliff 'Like Covering Every Day a Tortoise 10K'.
Tortoise and Crane a classic boutique .
Professor Farnsworth as a tortoise in "Futurama".
The Tortoise and the Crane 's new line, My Flat in London, makes statement bags with plenty of feminine flair.
Tortoise and Crane a classic boutique.
Tortoise race at Tulsa Zoo Wednesday.
View all Tortoise 's Chart History.
Turtles and tortoises have been roaming the planet for 200 million years, but now many of them are endangered by poachers who can sell some animals for as much as $60,000.
Tortoise has been started by a wife and a husband of Keiko and TakuS hinomoto in the end of Oct 2003, who moved in Los Angeles from Tokyo, Japan in June, 2003.
Tortoise & Hare Bar & Grille.
Thomas the tortoise was strapped to helium balloons and left to float away in August by an unknown suspect.
He found a tortoise , seen above, about 20 feet away.
The largest of the tortoises , the endangered Galápagos tortoise is incredibly long-lived.
A collection of news and information related to Tortoise (music group) published by this site and its partners.

In science:

It is assumed, usually, that classical behaviour of macroscopic ob jects, like Achilles and tortoise, is something obvious and always guaranteed.
Zeno meets modern science
Suppose we want to measure the initial distance between Achilles and the tortoise.
Zeno meets modern science
We can attach a small mirror to the tortoise while a clock with light-emitter and receiver to Achilles.
Zeno meets modern science
It is taken in Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates u = t + r∗ , v = t − r∗ , (where r∗ is tortoise coordinate) by taking the boost in the weak v → c limit.
New ideas about multiplication of tensorial distributions
It is the tortoise-like coordinate transformation if α = −1 u = Z X (r)△−1dr.
Deformation of contour and Hawking temperature