byssus

play
noun bys·sus \ˈbi-səs\

Definition of byssus

plural

byssuses

or

byssi

play \-ˌsī, -(ˌ)sē\
  1. 1 :  a fine probably linen cloth of ancient times

  2. 2 [New Latin, from Latin] :  a tuft of long tough filaments by which some bivalve mollusks (such as mussels) adhere to a surface

Origin and Etymology of byssus

Middle English bissus, from Latin byssus, from Greek byssos flax, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew būṣ linen cloth


First Known Use: 14th century


Learn More about byssus


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not embarrassed or apologetic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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