mus·​sel ˈmə-səl How to pronounce mussel (audio)
: a marine bivalve mollusk (especially genus Mytilus) usually having a dark elongated shell
: 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 Remove the pan from the heat and discard any mussels that have not opened. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2024 On the far right, a seafood bar displays oysters, lobster, mussels and other marine creatures. Jenna Thompson, Kansas City Star, 4 Apr. 2024 Source - Honest Paws sources their green-lipped mussel powder from the pristine waters of New Zealand, where the mussels are sustainably harvested and freeze-dried to preserve their natural nutritional benefits. Holistapet, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 That fits with how scientists suspect the mussels make their living. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Dinner included a starter of marinated mussels, cheese, and olives. Lauren Mowery, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Hip & Joint: Eases stiffness due to normal daily exercise and activity with green-lipped mussels and omega-3 fatty acids from salmon oil and cod oil. Melissa Karns, USA TODAY, 30 Jan. 2024 The restaurant serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, with a menu that runs the gamut from crispy calamari and steamed mussels to a variety of salads and flatbreads. Jenny Hartley, Charlotte Observer, 26 Jan. 2024 Try his Mediterranean red bream made with kabocha pumpkin and mussels marinières, with a Sturia (Osetra caviar) supplement for an additional €15. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mussel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near mussel

Cite this Entry

“Mussel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mus·​sel ˈməs-əl How to pronounce mussel (audio)
: any of various edible saltwater mollusks with a long dark hinged double shell
: any of numerous freshwater mollusks of rivers of the central U.S. whose hinged double shells are lined with mother-of-pearl

More from Merriam-Webster on mussel

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