zebra mussel

noun

: a chiefly freshwater Eurasian lamellibranch mollusk (Dreissena polymorpha) that was accidentally introduced into the Great Lakes and has spread to other waterways where it colonizes and clogs water intake pipes and competes with native fish for food

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Moreover, the zebra mussel has added up to costly problems by blocking up water intake pipes for power plants. Juanpablo Ramirez-franco, Journal Sentinel, 26 Aug. 2022 First came the zebra mussel, carried in by overseas freighters sailing up the St. Lawrence Seaway. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 Invasive quagga and zebra mussel numbers have exploded since the early 1990s, fundamentally altering the way life works in Lake Erie. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 This is a problem that has not been remedied since the zebra mussel's discovery. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 Daryl Gohl, group leader of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center Innovation Lab, was among the researchers who sequenced the genome of the zebra mussel, published in 2019, and is now working on the RNAi project. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, 30 July 2021 But trading Bryant or Báez while the Cubs are in contention would make Hoyer about as popular in Chicago as a zebra mussel. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, 31 May 2021 As of Thursday, pet stores in more than 30 states found the invasive zebra mussel hidden among moss balls on their shelves. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Mar. 2021 The zebra mussel is native to the eastern European region, in the Black and Caspian seas. Ayana Archie, The Courier-Journal, 25 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

so named from a comparison of the irregular dark striping on the shell to a zebra's stripes

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zebra mussel was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near zebra mussel

Cite this Entry

“Zebra mussel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zebra%20mussel. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on zebra mussel

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ