testudo

testudo

[te-stoo-doh, -styoo-]
noun, plural testudines [te-stood-n-eez, -styood-] .
1.
(among the ancient Romans) a movable shelter with a strong and usually fireproof arched roof, used for protection of soldiers in siege operations.
2.
a shelter formed by overlapping oblong shields, held by soldiers above their heads.

Origin:
1350–1400 for earlier sense “tumor”; 1600–10 for def 1; Middle English < Latin testūdō tortoise, tortoise shell, siege engine; akin to test2

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World English Dictionary
testudo (tɛˈstjuːdəʊ)
 
n , pl -dines
a form of shelter used by the ancient Roman Army for protection against attack from above, consisting either of a mobile arched structure or of overlapping shields held by the soldiers over their heads
 
[C17: from Latin: a tortoise, from testa a shell]

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