Asian clam


: a small, freshwater, bivalve mollusk (Corbicula fluminea) that has a yellowish to brown shell with concentric rows of raised ridges and is chiefly of Asian origin and has been widely introduced especially into U.S. waters
Non-native Asian clams are spreading rapidly across parts of Lake Tahoe, often accompanied by stringy mats of bright green algae, and posing a new threat to the world-renowned mountain lake.Tom Knudson, Sacramento Bee, 19 Aug. 2009
When jostled by turbulent water, an Asian clam "lifts off" the floor with its foot and releases a transparent mucous film that can catch the current like a sail.Science, December 1984

Note: The Asian clam is often considered an invasive species in the U.S. where it is known to clog water intake pipes and compete with native species for food.

Word History

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Asian clam was in 1964

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near Asian clam

Cite this Entry

“Asian clam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!