softshell

noun
soft·​shell | \ˈsȯf(t)-ˌshel \

Definition of softshell 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a family (Trionychidae) of freshwater carnivorous turtles that have sharp claws and mandibles and a flat round shell covered with soft leathery skin instead of with horny plates

called also soft-shelled turtle

soft-shell

adjective
\ˈsȯf(t)-ˌshel \
variants: or soft-shelled \ ˈsȯf(t)-​ˈsheld \

Definition of soft-shell (Entry 2 of 2)

: having a soft or fragile shell especially as a result of recent shedding soft-shell crabs

Illustration of softshell

Illustration of softshell

Noun

In the meaning defined above

Examples of softshell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Most of the dead animals are Florida softshell turtles; however, a few river cooters, olive or brown turtles with yellow stripes on their heads and necks, have also been found dead. Annie Martin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "FWC investigating deaths of 100 turtles along St. Johns River," 30 May 2018 Shellfish offerings may include spiny lobsters, live softshell crab and Santa Barbara spot prawns. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Nobu Houston now accepting reservations," 22 May 2018 There are native red belly and peninsula cooter turtles, exotic red-eared sliders and enormous softshell turtles. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake Eola turtles need sunbathing perches, says club's petition," 10 May 2018 Probably the most unique turtle in our area is the softshell turtle. Cheryl Conley, Houston Chronicle, "TWRC Wildlife Center: Is it a turtle or a tortoise?," 30 Jan. 2018 In the fall, more than 20,000 migrating ducks will converge here, and in the summer, one of the refuge’s rarest species, spiny softshell turtles, will bask and forage on its gravelly beaches and sandbars. National Geographic, "Why Are These Male Fish Growing Eggs?," 3 Feb. 2016 The company’s latest designs include roomy, durable freeride jackets, snugger, more breathable softshell alpine fits, and extremely breathable active suits for mountaineering. Jason Blevins, The Denver Post, "Aspen’s Strafe ski wear designers live their business: “This is what we do every day.”," 2 Apr. 2017 Yangtze softshell turtles, also called Red River turtles, are the largest freshwater turtles in the world. National Geographic, "There Are Only 3 of These Turtles Left on Earth," 23 May 2017 In the fall, more than 20,000 migrating ducks will converge here, and in the summer, one of the refuge’s rarest species, spiny softshell turtles, will bask and forage on its gravelly beaches and sandbars. National Geographic, "Why Are These Male Fish Growing Eggs?," 3 Feb. 2016

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

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First Known Use of softshell

Noun

1830, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1611, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of softshell was in 1611

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More Definitions for softshell

soft-shell

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of soft-shell

: having a shell that is soft or easily broken

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