Definition of testudo in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɛˈstjuːdəʊ/
Pronunciation: /tɛˈstuːdəʊ/

noun (plural testudos or testudines /tɛˈstjuːdɪniːz/)

1(In ancient Rome) a wheeled screen 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.


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

Words that rhyme with testudo

escudo, judo, ludo, pseudo, Trudeau

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tes|tudo

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