oyster

noun, often attributive
oys·​ter | \ ˈȯi-stər How to pronounce oyster (audio) \

Definition of oyster

1a : any of various marine bivalve mollusks (family Ostreidae) that have a rough irregular shell closed by a single adductor muscle and include commercially important shellfish
b : any of various mollusks resembling or related to the oysters
2 : something that is or can be readily made to serve one's personal ends the world was her oyster
3 : a small mass of muscle contained in a concavity of the pelvic bone on each side of the back of a fowl
4 : an extremely taciturn person
5 : a grayish-white color

Examples of oyster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Or participate in one of the hotel's off-season offerings, like a tour of an oyster farm (tastings included), a cooking class with the executive chef of Topper's, or a visit to the charming village of Siasconset. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "5 Luxury Destinations for a Mother-Daughter Trip," 9 May 2019 Cornbread with Thai curry, baked oysters ahhhhh amazing job @ayeshacurry and @ChefMichaelMina!! Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Low-Key Had Dinner with President Obama, Apparently," 20 Feb. 2019 Infiniti showed off the Prototype 10 at the Quail, an ancillary show of exotic cars held on a Carmel-by-the-Sea property, where sunshine, champagne, and oysters are plentiful. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Monterey Car Week is where the past and future of automobiles collide," 29 Aug. 2018 Raw Canadian oysters are likely behind a norovirus outbreak that has both Canadian and American health officials warning consumers to use caution. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Canadian Raw Oysters Are Behind a Norovirus Outbreak in California," 3 May 2018 But the restaurant was pitched as an all-day affair, cafe by morning, wine hangout by night, with oysters and French fries available as early as 8 a.m.. Michael Russell, OregonLive.com, "Channeling Paris, Canard opens next door to Le Pigeon tonight," 16 Apr. 2018 USA TODAY Shucked-to-order oysters are now on the menu on a Royal Caribbean ship. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "First look: Hooked Seafood on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas," 11 Apr. 2018 For example, oysters are a rich source of zinc, which appears to play a role in regulating testosterone levels. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "Can the foods you eat enhance your sex life?," 8 Mar. 2018 The crispy fried oysters are a great case in point, with soy aioli and Manchego cheese. Paul Oswell, Condé Nast Traveler, "21 Best Restaurants in New Orleans," 28 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oyster.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of oyster

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for oyster

Middle English oistre, from Anglo-French, from Latin ostrea, from Greek ostreon; akin to Greek ostrakon shell, osteon bone — more at osseous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oyster

Dictionary Entries near oyster

oy gevalt!

-oyl

oylet

oyster

oyster agaric

oysterage

oyster bar

Statistics for oyster

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oyster

The first known use of oyster was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oyster

oyster

noun

English Language Learners Definition of oyster

: a type of shellfish that has a rough shell with two parts and that is eaten both cooked and raw

oyster

noun
oys·​ter | \ ˈȯi-stər How to pronounce oyster (audio) \

Kids Definition of oyster

: a shellfish that lives on stony bottoms ( oyster beds ) in shallow seawater, has a rough grayish shell made up of two hinged parts, and is often used for food

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on oyster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oyster

Spanish Central: Translation of oyster

Nglish: Translation of oyster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oyster for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oyster

Comments on oyster

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!