mus·​sel | \ ˈmə-səl How to pronounce mussel (audio) \

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

Examples of mussel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The decision means stricter oversight of Big Canoe Creek and Little Canoe Creek West, where the mussel lives. Fox News, 5 July 2022 There are several ways his research could help Reclamation keep quagga mussel populations under control. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 Along the way, riders will gorge on blueberry pie, the best lobster rolls in the state, and mussels straight from a mussel farm. Jancee Dunn, Travel + Leisure, 26 Mar. 2022 The wild mussel catch declined from 25 million pounds to a mere nine million over the past two decades. Ellen Ruppel Shell, Scientific American, 1 May 2022 Banchan include tomato-basil kimchi, mussel-seaweed soup, kimchi oysters, quail eggs and cucumber salad. Gwendolyn Wu, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Apr. 2022 The broth is crafted from octopus, clam juice, mussel juice and fish fumet, then reduced and blended with olive oil and chiles. Alyson Sheppard, Robb Report, 31 Mar. 2022 Just one small section of the Escambia River, which flows through the Florida Panhandle, is home to two imperiled mussel species, along with a turtle and crayfish also at risk of extinction. New York Times, 3 Mar. 2022 The odds are slim against any freshwater mussel surviving into adulthood — a one in a million chance, according to Ford of the wildlife service — but those that do can live a century or longer. Matthew Brown,, 29 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of mussel

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mussel

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

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The first known use of mussel was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near mussel



mussel bill

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mussel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mussel


mus·​sel | \ ˈmə-səl How to pronounce mussel (audio) \

Kids Definition of mussel

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

More from Merriam-Webster on mussel

Nglish: Translation of mussel for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mussel


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