mol·​lusk | \ˈmä-ləsk \
variants: or mollusc

Definition of mollusk 

: any of a large phylum (Mollusca) of invertebrate animals (such as snails, clams, or squids) with a soft unsegmented body usually enclosed in a calcareous shell broadly : shellfish

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Other Words from mollusk

molluscan or less commonly molluskan \ mə-​ˈləs-​kən , mä-​ \ adjective

Examples of mollusk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some types of octopuses, mollusks and crustaceans have clear blood that turns blue in the presence of oxygen. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "These Lizards Evolved Toxic Green Blood," 17 May 2018 In Gallon's 20s — around the time when the couple was killed — he was convicted of weapons charges, theft, drunken driving, resisting arrest, and hunting abalone (an edible mollusk) without the necessary paperwork, the Chronicle reports. Jared Gilmour, sacbee, "Beach campsite murder went unsolved 13 years. Now a killer faces charges, Calif. deputies say | The Sacramento Bee," 16 May 2018 The term, also sometimes referenced to as piracy, isn't unique to bald eagles—it's seen in many animals, from mammals to mollusks—but bald eagles have made a name for themselves doing it. Kevin Ebi, National Geographic, "Bald Eagle Steals Dinner From Fox—by Flying Off With Both," 24 May 2018 Both are extinct species of small cephalopod mollusks and are in abundance on Charmouth Beach. David Shaftel, New York Times, "Searching for Dinosaurs in a Seaside English Town," 23 May 2018 Also, the many beach-goers in places such as Daytona make for an unfriendly mollusk environment. Cassie Armstrong,, "Seashell Day: How to observe in Central Florida," 21 June 2018 Technically mollusks, with large brains that are organized in a distinctly different way from ours, octopuses may be the planet’s smartest invertebrates. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "Octopuses," 15 June 2018 Alligator snapping turtles will eat just about anything, according to scientists: birds, mollusks, armadillos, opossums, fish and other turtles. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Missing a finger? This man just found one — inside a snapping turtle, Louisiana cops say," 13 June 2018 The group seemed interested in the large photographs of mollusks all the same. J. Harry Jones, Pomerado News, "From Flamenco to mollusks, library workshops had it all," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mollusk.' 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 mollusk

1783, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mollusk

French mollusque, from New Latin Mollusca, from Latin, neuter plural of molluscus thin-shelled (of a nut), from mollis

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Statistics for mollusk

Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mollusk

The first known use of mollusk was in 1783

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English Language Learners Definition of mollusk

biology : any one of a large group of animals (such as snails and clams) that have a soft body without a backbone and that usually live in a shell


mol·​lusk | \ˈmä-ləsk \

Kids Definition of mollusk

: an animal (as a clam, snail, or octopus) that lives mostly in water and has a soft body usually enclosed in a shell containing calcium


variants: or mollusc \ ˈmäl-​əsk \

Medical Definition of mollusk 

: any invertebrate animal of the phylum Mollusca

Other Words from mollusk

molluscan also molluskan \ mə-​ˈles-​kən, mä-​ \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on mollusk

Spanish Central: Translation of mollusk

Nglish: Translation of mollusk for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mollusk

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