purse crab

noun

Definition of purse crab 

1 : a large burrowing land crab (Birgus latro) that is widely distributed about islands of the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, has a varied omnivorous diet that includes coconuts, and is related to the hermit crabs but distinguished by its large size and its broad symmetrical abdomen the oily flesh of which is esteemed as a local delicacy

called also coconut crab, palm crab, robber crab, tree crab

2 : any of a family (Leucosiidae) of crabs characterized by a granular carapace and long claws and by an adult female having the abdomen formed into a hemispherical cup that snaps shut against the sternum to form a brood chamber for the eggs especially : one (Persephona mediterranea) that occurs in shallow water along the Atlantic coast of Mexico and of the U.S. as far north as New Jersey

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!

Learn More about purse crab

Share purse crab

Statistics for purse crab

Look-up Popularity

Comments on purse crab

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!