mother-of-pearl

noun

moth·​er-of-pearl ˌmə-t͟hə-rə(v)-ˈpər(-ə)l How to pronounce mother-of-pearl (audio)
: the hard pearly iridescent substance forming the inner layer of a mollusk shell

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1510, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mother-of-pearl was circa 1510

Dictionary Entries Near mother-of-pearl

Cite this Entry

“Mother-of-pearl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mother-of-pearl. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

mother-of-pearl

noun
moth·​er-of-pearl
ˌmət͟h-ə-rə(v)-ˈpər(-ə)l
: the hard pearly material that lines the shell of some mollusks (as mussels) and is often used for ornamental objects and buttons

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