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 In the sample size of 74 fish representing 11 species, the invasive round goby had the highest concentrations, possibly from eating filter-feeding quagga mussels, which scientists suspect may be accumulating microplastics. Tony Briscoe,, "22 million pounds of plastics enter the Great Lakes each year. Most of the pollution pours into Lake Michigan.," 4 Sep. 2019 The closure applies to all clams, oysters, mussels and scallops, according to a Skagit County news release. Kimberly Cauvel, The Seattle Times, "Shellfish harvesting closed in Skagit County because of biotoxin," 29 Aug. 2019 Relying heavily on seafood with strong parallels to Cajun cuisine, menu highlights include Cornmeal Fried Florida Soft-Shell Crab and Golden Tilefish with sweet corn and crabmeat chowder featuring mussels, thyme, and pea tendrils. al, "Take a culinary tour of the world in Crestline Village," 22 Aug. 2019 Second place was Carols Ramos with a ceviche mussel from Latin Bites. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Officials: 15th annual Wine and Food Week in The Woodlands considered a success," 12 June 2019 And in a city that’s awash in steamed mussels, the Original has a version that stands out: steamed in beer, jumbled with pieces of house kielbasa and sauerkraut ($13). Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dinner and drinks: The Original has ideas for your night out," 23 Jan. 2018 Steamer Pot, a combination of mussels, clams, shrimp, potatoes, carrots and onions, was satisfying. John-john Williams Iv,, "Besides the award-winning crabs, Conrad’s Seafood in Abingdon is an uneven affair," 22 Aug. 2019 The specialties here are flatbread and mussels in various preparations. Polly Campbell,, "And the best bistros in Greater Cincinnati are ...," 28 Aug. 2019 In addition to plankton, the opportunistic eaters can sustain themselves by feeding on the feces and mucous-coated regurgitation of invasive mussels. Tony Briscoe,, "Asian carp have never breached a body of freshwater the size of Lake Michigan. Here’s the bizarre way they could survive and thrive in the world’s fifth largest lake.," 12 Aug. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for mussel

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for mussel

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

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How to pronounce mussel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mussel

: a type of shellfish that has a long dark shell


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mussel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mussel

Spanish Central: Translation of mussel

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

Comments on mussel

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


something of little or no value

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