na·​cre ˈnā-kər How to pronounce nacre (audio)

Examples of nacre in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Charlie Corcoran’s set, which is mostly a stretch of sky above a low grass hill, shimmers like nacre; Michael Gottlieb’s lighting design, particularly in the play’s final, stunning moment with Hugh, is finely shaded, before plunging into a spotlit darkness reminiscent of Caravaggio. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2023 The resulting build up, called nacre, eventually forms the pearl. The Indianapolis Star, 5 Sep. 2023 In the process of studying nacre, some scientists couldn’t help notice the mussel’s hinge. Rahul Rao, Popular Science, 22 June 2023 When a foreign substance such as a speck of sand enters the oyster and gets lodged between the mantle and the oyster shell, the oyster reacts to this intrusion and protects itself by producing a substance known as nacre to envelop the irritant, one layer at a time. Thomas Lim, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Together, these secretions form a material called nacre. Mythili Devarakonda, USA TODAY, 25 Dec. 2022 Although nacre is made of calcium, proteins, and carbonate, the combination of these materials are 3,000 times tougher than each on is on their own. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Nov. 2021 While all mollusks can technically make pearls, only some groups make them of nacre. Mythili Devarakonda, USA TODAY, 25 Dec. 2022 As an endangered and protected material, new nacre is farmed, and lacks the variety, size, thickness, color, sheen and depth of the wild material. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


French, from Middle French, from Old Italian naccara drum, nacre, from Arabic naqqāra drum

First Known Use

1689, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nacre was in 1689

Dictionary Entries Near nacre

Cite this Entry

“Nacre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


na·​cre ˈnā-kər How to pronounce nacre (audio)

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