Definition of limpet
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)
Recent Examples of limpet from the Web
One of its most destructive weapons was the limpet mine, used to wreck everything from battleships to power stations.
There was no good reason to believe that limpets, time and again, lined themselves up in this V-shaped fashion.
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.
Origin and Etymology of limpet
Middle English lempet, from Old English lempedu, from Medieval Latin lampreda lamprey
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
LIMPET Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of limpet for English Language Learners
: a type of ocean animal that has a shell and that is able to attach itself to things (such as rocks) very tightly
Learn More about limpet
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about limpet
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