car·​a·​pace | \ ˈker-ə-ˌpās How to pronounce carapace (audio) , ˈka-rə- \

Definition of carapace

1 : a bony or chitinous case or shield covering the back or part of the back of an animal (such as a turtle or crab)
2 : a protective, decorative, or disguising shell the carapace of reserve he built around himself— M. M. Mintz

Examples of carapace in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Salted crab releases its funk, along with bits of claw and carapace., "For three generations, a dim alley in Bangkok’s Chinatown was home to a rice porridge stand opened by an immigrant from southern China. Then, in 2017, the street stall was included in Michelin’s Bangkok edition.," 15 Dec. 2019 Their tapioca flour coating makes the flesh gooey, giving one the impression of eating a giant, delectable insect complete with a crispy carapace. Soleil Ho,, "Bold and fearless, Nari is SF’s most exciting new restaurant," 14 Nov. 2019 Feavel said the turtle was likely hit by a vehicle, which fractured the skull, carapace (top shell) and plastron (bottom shell). Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After 3½ years of rehab, Wildlife In Need Center has released a turtle back into the wild," 1 Nov. 2019 Tufenkji tells Chung, and their carapaces—or defensive shells—did not develop properly. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Your Soothing Cup of Tea May Contain Billions of Microplastics," 28 Sep. 2019 Much of the carapace is derived from the backbone and ribs. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "How the Turtle Got Its Shell, With Apologies to Aesop," 20 Aug. 2019 Last year, a Chinese team published a fossil carapace with a similar shape from the 518-million-year-old Chengjiang biota. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, "‘Millennium Falcon’ predator soared across ocean floor at dawn of animal life," 30 July 2019 The domed carapace covering the back of the animal is connected to the flat plastron on the underside of the animal by a bridge of bone. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "How the Turtle Got Its Shell, With Apologies to Aesop," 20 Aug. 2019 There was the gigantic Raja, a large male loggerhead whose carapace measured 43 inches long. John Christopher Fine,, "Rejoice as turtles make their return | Opinion," 15 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carapace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of carapace

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for carapace

French, from Spanish carapacho

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Time Traveler for carapace

Time Traveler

The first known use of carapace was in 1836

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Statistics for carapace

Last Updated

19 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Carapace.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for carapace


How to pronounce carapace (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of carapace

technical : a hard shell on the back of some animals (such as turtles or crabs)

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More from Merriam-Webster on carapace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carapace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carapace Encyclopedia article about carapace

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