mollusk

noun

mol·​lusk ˈmä-ləsk How to pronounce mollusk (audio)
variants or mollusc
: 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
molluscan adjective
or less commonly molluskan

Examples of mollusk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jessica Goodheart is an assistant curator of malacology (the study of mollusks) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Helen Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2024 Their diet consists of small fish, mollusks, crustaceans and sometimes bigger species like dolphins or sea lions. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2024 His bill is small, yet strong—perfect for grubbing about underwater for aquatic bugs, worms, snails, crayfish, and small mollusks. M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 30 Nov. 2023 The common name of the dyestuff, Tyrian purple, derives from the habitat of the mollusks, which the Phoenicians purportedly began harvesting in the 16th century B.C. in the city-state of Tyre in present-day Lebanon. Franz Lidz, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2024 As far back as 200 million years ago, the fossil record shows us that hermit crabs were already tooling around shopping for homes discarded by mollusks. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, 28 Feb. 2024 These female free divers scour the ocean for edible jewels like seaweed, lobster, and mollusks and grill their fresh catch in an amagoya hut. Christina Liao, Vogue, 30 Dec. 2023 Sentinel oysters and other bivalve mollusks are now monitoring ocean water quality and environmental degradation in multiple locations around the globe. John Koetsier, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Chitons, small mollusks that live on intertidal rocks and in the deep sea, are like little tanks protected by eight shell plates — a body plan that’s remained relatively stable for some 300 million years. Quanta Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mollusk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1783, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mollusk was in 1783

Dictionary Entries Near mollusk

Cite this Entry

“Mollusk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mollusk. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

mollusk

noun
mol·​lusk
variants or mollusc
: any of a large phylum of invertebrate animals (as snails, clams, and octopuses) with a soft body lacking segments and usually enclosed in a shell containing calcium
molluscan adjective
also molluskan

Medical Definition

mollusk

noun
mol·​lusk
variants or mollusc
: any invertebrate animal of the phylum Mollusca
molluscan adjective
also molluskan

More from Merriam-Webster on mollusk

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