pholas

noun
pho·​las | \ ˈfōləs\

Definition of pholas

1 capitalized : a large genus of bivalve usually marine mollusks (family Pholadidae) with an elongate-oval rough shell having no hinge ligament, gaping at the end, and having two accessory valves to protect the dorsal margin that with the foot serves as a rasp to bore in wood and stone
2 plural pholades\ -​ləˌdēz\ : any mollusk of the genus Pholas or of the family Pholadidae : piddock

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for pholas

New Latin, from Greek phōlas stone-boring mollusk, literally, lying in a hole; akin to Greek phylē tribe, clan

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on pholas

What made you want to look up pholas? 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
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!