lim·​pet | \ ˈlim-pət How to pronounce limpet (audio) \

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)

Illustration of limpet

Illustration of limpet

limpet 1

Examples of limpet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Here is a tidal pool, with limpets resembling cocktail umbrellas, beds of blue-shelled mussels and feathery shrimp that seem to gallop through the brine; elsewhere, the splendid flourish of the dreaded giant squid. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "What to Give: Children’s Books," 15 Nov. 2018 Traveling during the summer to conduct field work, Shimomura studied bioluminescent fireworms in Bermuda, cave worms and limpets in New Zealand, and a plethora of glowing bacteria, twinkling fireflies and neon-colored squid and krill. Harrison Smith, The Seattle Times, "Osamu Shimomura, atomic blast survivor and Nobel-winning chemist, dies at 90," 23 Oct. 2018 The creature appeared to have been dead for years, but the bones and their surroundings teemed with life—wriggling worms, centimeter-size clams, little snails and limpets, and patches of white microbial mats. Crispin T. S. Little, Scientific American, "Life at the Bottom: The Prolific Afterlife of Whales," 23 May 2017 Farther west, in Port Renfrew, was Botanical Beach, where tide pools were filled with limpets, mussels and sea anemones. Suzanne Macneille, New York Times, "Vancouver Island, Through an Artist’s Eyes," 2 Oct. 2017 Similarly, fleeing limpets and chitons navigated stony surfaces with the fascinating rapidity of ice forming across a winter pond. Clark Fair, Alaska Dispatch News, "Colorful kaleidoscope of marine life in Homer tidepools," 8 July 2017 One of its most destructive weapons was the limpet mine, used to wreck everything from battleships to power stations. WSJ, "Giles Milton," 28 Apr. 2017 There was no good reason to believe that limpets, time and again, lined themselves up in this V-shaped fashion. Brian Switek, WIRED, "Mosasaur Bites and Limpet Scrapes," 11 Apr. 2012

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.

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First Known Use of limpet

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

History and Etymology for limpet

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

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Dictionary Entries near limpet







limping standard

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

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English Language Learners Definition of limpet

: a type of ocean animal that has a shell and that is able to attach itself to things (such as rocks) very tightly

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Spanish Central: Translation of limpet Encyclopedia article about limpet

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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