scal·​lop | \ˈskä-ləp, ˈska-, ˈskȯ- \
variants: or less commonly \ ˈskä-​ , ˈskȯ-​ \

Definition of scallop 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : any of numerous marine bivalve lamellibranch mollusks (family Pectinidae) that have a radially ribbed shell with the edge undulated and that swim by opening and closing the valves

b : the adductor muscle of a scallop as an article of food

2a : a valve or shell of a scallop

b : a baking dish shaped like a valve of a scallop

3 : one of a continuous series of circle segments or angular projections forming a border (as on cloth or metal)

4 : pattypan

5 [ French escalope, probably from Middle French, shell ] : a thin slice of boneless meat or fish veal scallops

called also escalope


variants: or less commonly scollop
scalloped also scolloped; scalloping also scolloping; scallops also scollops

Definition of scallop (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to shape, cut, or finish in scallops

b : to form scallops in

2 [ from the use of a scallop shell as a baking dish ] : to bake in a sauce usually covered with seasoned bread or cracker crumbs scalloped potatoes

intransitive verb

: to gather or dredge scallops

Illustration of scallop

Illustration of scallop


scallop 2a

In the meaning defined above

Examples of scallop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Washington authorities said the PSP has been discovered in clams, geoducks, scallops, mussels and oysters at the beaches. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Washington bans shellfish harvesting after high levels of toxins found," 30 Aug. 2018 The Lucia restaurant is farm-to-table style, and everything from the lobster basil soup to the diver scallops is cooked to perfection. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Weekend Travel Guide: Things to Do In California's Charming Carmel-by-the-Sea," 10 Aug. 2018 Short ribs, scallops, beef tongue and tofu also get the skewer treatment. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Stir, in Philadelphia Museum of Art, Prepares for October Opening," 10 July 2018 Entrees include filet mignon, scallops, shrimp and pasta, and a burger. Grace Wong,, "Steak, brunch, whiskey and more Father's Day specials at Chicago area restaurants," 11 June 2018 Raw pork blood stored above tofu and cooked pork, raw pork over yams, raw shrimp over yams and raw scallops over mushrooms and noodles. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Restaurant inspections: 7 Phoenix-area eateries on this week's list," 21 Mar. 2018 Her team ended up serving seared scallops with lentils and snap pea salad in the appetizer round. Tracy Swartz,, "South Loop contestant vows to win 'MasterChef' wedding challenge as team captain," 11 July 2018 Crispy calamari and prosciutto and burrata were followed by seared diver scallops with a side of truffle Parmesan fries. Vogue, "Pierre Hardy, Pom Klementieff, Kanye West, and More Attend a Dinner Party at the Chateau Marmont," 25 Apr. 2018 Seafood like lobster, fish, or scallops are delicious served with a brown butter with a little scraped vanilla bean in it. Carole Kotkin, miamiherald, "There's nothing vanilla about cooking with fragrant, homemade vanilla," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The edges are scalloped and hand-painted in summery colors—french blue, strawberry red, garden rose pink, and lilac—with a glossy dye. Katie Kiefner, Vogue, "Send All of Your Summer Thank You Notes on This Stunning Stationery," 10 July 2018 The bodice is sweetly scalloped, with a bow under the bust and teasingly bare sides. Rebecca Ramsey, The Cut, "Make a Dramatic Exit in This Miu Miu Dress," 28 June 2018 Creeping Charlie also has blue flowers, square stems and rounded, scalloped leaves, but has a minty fragrance. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Winter annual weeds ready to bloom, spread," 9 Mar. 2018 Measuring 3,640 square feet across the two-story main house and a detached studio, the three-bed-two-and-a-half-bath charms from the start, with a large front yard and porch and scalloped shingle siding further welcoming you inside. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Cute Craftsman built in 1911 wants $675K," 24 May 2018 The exterior design is contemporary and recognizable, with a long hood, upswept rear fender and scalloped doors. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Volvo XC40 SUV has wireless phone charging, carryout bag hook," 23 May 2018 In shape, Kingelez’s buildings are variously tiered, towering, serpentine, pinnate, finned, and scalloped. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Utopian Vision of Bodys Isek Kingelez," 4 June 2017 Whether your family demands green bean casserole or scalloped potatoes alongside their turkey, these dishes can be prepped and assembled two whole days before the big event. Hannah Doolin, Country Living, "Here's Exactly When To Cook Every Dish For Thanksgiving Dinner," 16 Nov. 2016 There are light pink striped shorts suits, ruffle tops, and scalloped-waist jeans alongside a paper bag waist jumpsuit and more. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Zendaya Debuts New Clothing Line with," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scallop.' 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 scallop


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1682, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for scallop


Middle English scalop, from Anglo-French escalope shell, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch schelpe shell

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scallop

Statistics for scallop

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scallop

The first known use of scallop was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scallop



English Language Learners Definition of scallop

: a type of shellfish that has a flat, round shell with two parts and that is often eaten as food

: one of a series of similar curves that form a decorative edge on something


scal·​lop | \ˈskä-ləp, ˈska-\

Kids Definition of scallop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an edible shellfish that is a mollusk with a ribbed shell in two parts

2 : one of a series of half-circles that form a border on an edge (as of lace)


scalloped; scalloping

Kids Definition of scallop (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to bake with crumbs, butter, and milk

2 : to embroider, cut, or edge with half-circles I scalloped the edge of the pie crust.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on scallop

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


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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