limpet

noun

lim·​pet ˈlim-pət How to pronounce limpet (audio)
1
: a marine gastropod mollusk (especially families Acmaeidae and Patellidae) that has a low conical shell broadly open beneath, browses over rocks or timbers in the littoral area, and clings very tightly when disturbed
2
: one that clings tenaciously to someone or something
3
: an explosive device designed to cling magnetically to a metallic surface (such as the hull of a ship)

Illustration of limpet

Illustration of limpet
  • limpet 1

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The leafbird’s single gyroid crystals exhibit the same optical property as the limpet’s layers. Quanta Magazine, 21 June 2021 The leafbird’s single gyroid crystals exhibit the same optical property as the limpet’s layers. Quanta Magazine, 21 June 2021 Unlike the octopus, though, the limpet can’t change the shape of its layers after they are laid down. Quanta Magazine, 21 June 2021 The leafbird’s single gyroid crystals exhibit the same optical property as the limpet’s layers. Quanta Magazine, 21 June 2021 The leafbird’s single gyroid crystals exhibit the same optical property as the limpet’s layers. Viviane Callier, The Atlantic, 20 June 2021 Unlike the octopus, though, the limpet can’t change the shape of its layers after they are laid down. Quanta Magazine, 21 June 2021 How the limpet builds the layered structure with such precision is a mystery. Quanta Magazine, 21 June 2021 Unlike the octopus, though, the limpet can’t change the shape of its layers after they are laid down. Quanta Magazine, 21 June 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English lempet, from Old English lempedu, from Medieval Latin lampreda lamprey

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of limpet was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near limpet

Cite this Entry

“Limpet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/limpet. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

limpet

noun
lim·​pet ˈlim-pət How to pronounce limpet (audio)
: a marine mollusk that has a low cone-shaped shell, moves over rocks or timbers feeding on food found there, and clings very tightly when disturbed

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