Share this entry

Share this page

testudo

Syllabification: tes·tu·do
Pronunciation: /teˈst(y)o͞odō
 
/

Definition of testudo in English:

noun (plural testudos or testudines /-dnˌēz/)

1(In ancient Rome) a screen on wheels and with an arched roof, used to protect besieging troops.
Example sentences
  • It was usually the same men in each testudo as each had to know exactly where he was to be placed.
  • Miles did attempt to make a contribution to operations in Cuba, in the form of a little invention based on the ancient Roman testudo.
  • When the bombardment failed, Salisbury's men built a testudo or "tortoise," a wheeled covered shed under which his men worked battering rams.
1.1A protective screen formed by a body of troops holding their shields above their heads in such a way that the shields overlap.
Example sentences
  • The testudo, the tortoise formation, involved raising the scutums into a shell.
  • Roman soldiers used to form a testudo or tortoise, by some putting their shields over their heads and others in front.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin, literally 'tortoise', from testa 'tile, shell'.

Definition of testudo in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day sacerdotal
Pronunciation: ˌsasəˈdəʊt(ə)l
adjective
relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly