noun \ˈhwelk, ˈwelk, ˈwilk\

Definition of WHELK

:  any of numerous large marine snails (as of the genus Buccinum); especially :  one (B. undatum) used as food in Europe

Illustration of WHELK

Origin of WHELK

Middle English welke, from Old English weoloc; akin to Middle Dutch willoc whelk and perhaps to Latin volvere to turn — more at voluble
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with WHELK


noun \ˈhwelk, ˈwelk\

Definition of WHELK

Origin of WHELK

Middle English whelke, from Old English hwylca, from hwelian to suppurate
First Known Use: before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Northern whelk (Buccinum undatum)—Ingmar Holmasen

Any marine snail of the family Buccinidae, or a snail having a similar shell; found worldwide. Some whelks are called conchs. The sturdy shell of most species in the family is slender and has a wide opening in the first whorl. The animal feeds on other mollusks through its long proboscis; some species also kill fishes and crustaceans caught in commercial traps. Most are cold-water species; tropical species are smaller and more colourful. The common northern whelk (Buccinum undatum) has a stout pale shell about 3 in. (8 cm) long and is abundant in North Atlantic waters.


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