mu·​rex ˈmyu̇r-ˌeks How to pronounce murex (audio)
plural murices ˈmyu̇r-ə-ˌsēz How to pronounce murex (audio) or murexes
: any of a genus (Murex of the family Muricidae) of marine gastropod mollusks having a rough and often spiny shell, abounding in tropical seas, and yielding a purple dye

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web As each murex produced only a few drops of precious mucus, the manufacture of commercial quantities of Tyrian purple required the harvesting of vast quantities of these creatures. Mark Woolmer, National Geographic, 24 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'murex.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, mollusk yielding a purple dye; akin to Greek myak-, myax mussel

First Known Use

1589, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of murex was in 1589

Dictionary Entries Near murex

Cite this Entry

“Murex.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on murex

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?