mussel

noun mus·sel \ ˈmə-səl \

Definition of mussel

1 :a marine bivalve mollusk (especially genus Mytilus) usually having a dark elongated shell
2 :a freshwater bivalve mollusk (as of Unio, Anodonta, or related genera) that is especially abundant in rivers of the central U.S. and has a shell lined with mother-of-pearl

Recent Examples of mussel from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of mussel

Middle English muscle, from Old English muscelle, from Vulgar Latin *muscula, from Latin musculus muscle, mussel


MUSSEL Defined for English Language Learners

mussel

noun

Definition of mussel for English Language Learners

  • : a type of shellfish that has a long dark shell


MUSSEL Defined for Kids

mussel

noun mus·sel \ ˈmə-səl \

Definition of mussel for Students

1 :a saltwater shellfish that has a long dark shell in two parts and is sometimes used as food
2 :a freshwater clam of the United States with shells from which mother-of-pearl is obtained


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up mussel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak evil of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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