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 The group, called the Mussels of Muscatine, hopes to build an eco-tourism attraction that’s grounded in mussel research and propagation – reversing the legacy of overharvesting the mollusks, now highly valued for their water-cleansing abilities. USA TODAY, "Mussel eco-tourism, Morgan Freeman, firework fix: News from around our 50 states," 14 Mar. 2020 Its diet was diverse, including small animals — fishes, caimans, snakes — as well as mollusks and vegetation, particularly fruits and seeds. Washington Post, "Fossils of car-size ancient turtles found in South America," 15 Feb. 2020 The new fossils have a wide surface on the roof of the mouth for grinding, suggesting the animal might have used its powerful jaws to crunch mollusk shells. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "Battle-scarred fossils suggest giant turtles fought each other—and crocodiles three times their size," 12 Feb. 2020 The researchers looked at fossilized marine mollusk shells from across the globe. Fox News, "Dinosaurs may have been poisoned before they became extinct, study reveals," 18 Dec. 2019 The tiny mollusk, which is about 2 millimeters in size, was discovered by citizen-scientists from the tour group Taxon Expeditions while on an expedition into the Borneo rain forest. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Newly discovered species of snail named after teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg," 21 Feb. 2020 Fossils of their jaws resemble those of modern turtles that eat fish and other turtles, and a flat bone in the center of the roof of the giant turtle’s mouth might have been used to crush mollusks. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Gigantic Turtles Fought Epic Battles 10 Million Years Ago—and Have the Scars to Prove It," 13 Feb. 2020 See the power of multiple strands on Queen Elizabeth I in her Armada Portrait, a female leader proclaiming victory wearing a dress of gold thread and mollusks in the extreme. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Aerin Lauder on the Jewels That Made History," 14 Jan. 2020 The study documents some fragmentary marine fossils, including the teeth of ancient sharks, aquatic reptiles called mosasaurs, and an extinct type of mollusk called an ammonite. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "These fossils may capture the day the dinosaurs died. Here's what you should know.," 31 Mar. 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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Time Traveler for mollusk

Time Traveler

The first known use of mollusk was in 1783

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Statistics for mollusk

Last Updated

29 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mollusk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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How to pronounce mollusk (audio)

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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