Definition of turn turtle in English:

turn turtle


  • (chiefly of a boat) turn upside down.

    ‘the other boat nearly turned turtle several times’
    ‘his tractor turned turtle and killed him’
    • ‘She had turned turtle and capsized and those who were not able to get out in the first few hours were surely trapped for good.’
    • ‘The Hampshire has turned turtle with much of the bows broken up where she hit the mine on that fateful day back in 1916.’
    • ‘The Bismark's excellent fire control and high rate of fire finally shredded Prince of Wales, which slowly turned turtle and sank.’
    • ‘Top-heavy, like all battleships, the Nagato turned turtle before leaving daylight behind.’
    • ‘Four minutes later the ship turned turtle and sank.’
    • ‘The ship turned turtle and people went out on horses to save survivors.’
    • ‘But en route at Chavara the ambulance met with an accident and turned turtle.’
    • ‘Kevin bellows instructions, and in quick time we exit the boat, turn turtle and fin towards the edge of the drop-off.’
    • ‘The Kléber sank swiftly, turning turtle as she went.’
    • ‘Riddled with bullet holes, the flat-bottomed vessel sank, turning turtle as it did so and settling on the 7m bottom.’
    overturn, turn over, tip over, roll over, upturn, capsize, turn topsy-turvy
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