mol·​lusk | \ ˈmä-ləsk How to pronounce mollusk (audio) \
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-​ˈlə-​skən How to pronounce molluskan (audio) , mä-​ \ adjective

Examples of mollusk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Here was a family movie that included giant terror-mollusks, cute hobbit-like critters getting the mystical life force sucked out of them by giant squawking crow monsters, and a road adventure through the foothills of the uncanny valley. Wired, "Netflix Re-Ups the Puppetry—and Perturbations—of Dark Crystal," 30 Aug. 2019 In other words, there’s still a lot to learn about the stickiness of mussels before the mollusks come off of our plates and into a bioengineered future. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Mussels’ Sticky Threads Could Inspire Ways to Clean Up Oil Spills, Purify Water and More," 13 July 2019 Scallop populations are variable, and wildlife experts are hopeful that the mollusks could bounce back naturally in Florida. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Volunteer “Scallop Sitters” Are Working to Restore Florida’s Dwindling Scallop Population," 28 Aug. 2019 Typical willet behavior is to walk along the water’s edge, stopping to push their stout beaks into the sand in search of worms, sand crabs or mollusks, or pocking around on rocky shorelines picking up crabs, small crustaceans, fish or insects. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Willets right at home along San Diego shorelines," 18 July 2019 Many of these cartilaginous swimmers eat fish, crustaceans, mollusks, plankton, krill, marine mammals, and other sharks—in short, humans are not on the menu. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "Why are we afraid of sharks? There's a scientific explanation.," 27 June 2019 The quarter-sized mollusks are smaller than native clams that live in Montana. USA TODAY, "Barbie, Tupac, scorpions and Red Vines: News from around our 50 states," 19 July 2019 So far, paleontologists have reported the remnants of feathered dinosaurs, ancient birds, snakes, and invertebrates of all kinds—even the washed-up, spiraled shell of an extinct marine mollusk. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Ancient bird foot found in amber has bizarrely long toes," 11 July 2019 According to the Texas Invasive Species Institute, these mollusks reproduce quickly and can wreak considerable damage on an ecosystem. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "An Invasive Species of Giant Snail is Plaguing One Texas Community," 24 July 2019

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

14 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce mollusk (audio) \

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 How to pronounce mollusc (audio) \

Medical Definition of mollusk

: any invertebrate animal of the phylum Mollusca

Other Words from mollusk

molluscan also molluskan \ mə-​ˈles-​kən, mä-​ How to pronounce molluskan (audio) \ 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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