- any of several edible North American turtles of the family Emydidae, inhabiting fresh or brackish waters, especially the diamondback terrapin: some are threatened or endangered.
- any of various similar turtles.
- any of various web-footed chelonian reptiles that live on land and in fresh water and feed on small aquatic animals: family EmydidaeAlso called: water tortoise
n.North American turtle, 1670s, earlier torope (1610s), from an Algonquian source (e.g. Abenaki turepe, Delaware tulpe “turtle”). Subsequently extended to allied species in South America, East Indies, China, North Africa.