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
The first and worst outbreak in Alaska history was in 1799, when a hundred otter hunters in the Russian fur trade died from eating toxic mussels.
In Reykjavík, Gló is good for lunch, Snaps Bistro-Bar for dinner and drinks—get the steamed mussels—and Café Paris is a brilliant spot for outdoor seating.
Cook 4 to 7 minutes or until mussels open, stirring twice.
The design helped keep the bait off the mussel-coated bottom and deflect weeds from the hooks.
The mussels were some of the most plump around, and completely fresh tasting.
EAT In Reykjavík, Gló is good for lunch, Snaps Bistro-Bar for dinner and drinks—get the steamed mussels—and Café Paris is a brilliant spot for outdoor seating.
Or maybe clams and mussels eat up the phytoplankton.
Local ingredients, especially fish, remain the focus: scallops, oysters, sea urchin, mussels, clams, crab, cod and roe all appear on a sample menu.
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
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
MUSSEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mussel for English Language Learners
: a type of shellfish that has a long dark shell
MUSSEL Defined for Kids
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).