oyster

27 ENTRIES FOUND:

oys·ter

noun, often attributive \ˈis-tər\

: a type of shellfish that has a rough shell with two parts and that is eaten both cooked and raw

Full Definition of OYSTER

1
a :  any of various marine bivalve mollusks (family Ostreidae) that have a rough irregular shell closed by a single adductor muscle and include commercially important shellfish
b :  any of various mollusks resembling or related to the oysters
2
:  something that is or can be readily made to serve one's personal ends <the world was her oyster>
3
:  a small mass of muscle contained in a concavity of the pelvic bone on each side of the back of a fowl
4
:  an extremely taciturn person
5
:  a grayish-white color

Origin of OYSTER

Middle English oistre, from Anglo-French, from Latin ostrea, from Greek ostreon; akin to Greek ostrakon shell, osteon bone — more at osseous
First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with OYSTER

oyster

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis)—G. Tomsich/Photo Researchers

Any bivalve of two families, Ostreidae (true oysters) or Aviculidae (pearl oysters), found in temperate and warm coastal waters worldwide. Both valves (halves) have a rough, often dirty-gray outer surface and a smooth white inner lining (nacre). The lower valve, which affixes to a surface, is nearly flat. The smaller upper valve is convex and has rougher edges. The oyster filters its food, minute organic particles, from the water. Cultivated as food, oysters are regarded as a delicacy. Pearls are the accumulation of nacre around a piece of foreign matter.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: oyster agaric
Previous Word in the Dictionary: oylet
All Words Near: oyster

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up oyster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More