Ter"ra*pin (?), n. [Probably of American Indian origin.] Zool.
Any one of numerous species of tortoises living in fresh and brackish waters. Many of them are valued for food.
[Written also terapin
, and turapen
<-- acebra? print unclear?? -->
⇒ The yellow-bellied terrapin (Pseudemys acebra) of the Southern United States, the red-bellied terrapin (Pseudemys rugosa), native of the tributaries Chesapeake Bay (called also potter, slider, and redfender), and the diamond-back or salt-marsh terrapin (Malaclemmys palustris), are the most important American species. The diamond-back terrapin is native of nearly the whole of the Atlantic coast of the United States.
Alligator terrapin, the snapping turtle. -- Mud terrapin, any one of numerous species of American tortoises of the genus Cinosternon. -- Painted terrapin, the painted turtle. See under Painted. -- Speckled terrapin, a small fresh-water American terrapin (Chelopus guttatus) having the carapace black with round yellow spots; -- called also spotted turtle.
© Webster 1913.