softshell

noun
soft·​shell | \ ˈsȯf(t)-ˌshel How to pronounce softshell (audio) \

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 How to pronounce soft-shell (audio) \
variants: or soft-shelled \ ˈsȯf(t)-​ˈsheld How to pronounce soft-shelled (audio) \

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 Perhaps the best all-around natural bait for bass is a live crawfish, especially the softshell variety. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 Perhaps the best all-around natural bait for bass is a live crawfish, especially the softshell variety. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 Perhaps the best all-around natural bait for bass is a live crawfish, especially the softshell variety. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 Perhaps the best all-around natural bait for bass is a live crawfish, especially the softshell variety. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 Perhaps the best all-around natural bait for bass is a live crawfish, especially the softshell variety. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 Perhaps the best all-around natural bait for bass is a live crawfish, especially the softshell variety. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Beginner’s Guide to Catching Your First Fish," 11 May 2020 The softshell hooded jacket is made of durable weather-resistant material. Christie Calucchia, Health.com, "I Always Wear This Outdoor Voices Jacket to Run in the Rain," 18 Apr. 2020 The most sought after include box turtles, diamondback terrapins, mud and musk turtles, softshell turtles and snapping turtles. Kimberly Miller, USA TODAY, "Officials are cracking down on turtle smugglers in Florida," 22 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for softshell

Time Traveler

The first known use of softshell was in 1611

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Statistics for softshell

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Softshell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/softshell. Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for softshell

soft-shell

adjective
How to pronounce soft-shell (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of soft-shell

US : having a shell that is soft or easily broken

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