—n. 1. any reptile of the order Testudines, comprising aquatic and terrestrial species having the trunk enclosed in a shell consisting of a dorsal carapace and a ventral plastron.
2. (not used technically) an aquatic turtle as distinguished from a terrestrial one. Cf. tortoise (def. 1).
3. turn turtle, a. Naut.to capsize or turn over completely in foundering.
b. to overturn; upset: Several of the cars turned turtle in the course of the race.
—v.i. to catch turtles, esp. as a business.
Pronunciation: (tûr'tl),[key] —n.Archaic. a turtledove.