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[klam-shel] /ˈklæmˌʃɛl/
the shell of a clam.
an object that has two hinged parts and that opens and closes like a clamshell, as a laptop computer or a box with a cover joined on one side:
This clamshell is lightweight, convenient, and as powerful as my desktop computer.
  1. Also called clamshell bucket. a dredging bucket opening at the bottom, consisting of two similar pieces hinged together at the top.
  2. a machine equipped with such a bucket.
Printing. a platen press.
of or noting an object that opens and closes like a clamshell: a clamshell phone;
clamshell packaging.
Origin of clamshell
1490-1500; earlier clam-shell; see clam1, shell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for clamshell
Historical Examples
  • But sech is his awe of Enright, he never dar's opens his clamshell.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Maybe she struck the water and scaled along like a clamshell.

    The Rover Boys in the Air

    Edward Stratemeyer
  • He was eyeing the clamshell and looking more and more uneasy.

  • So he hunted a clamshell, a double one, Tish requested, and brought it into camp.

  • He had no better implement with which to intrench himself in the land than a clamshell.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau
  • After a moment he mechanically spat on a clamshell and requested Davy to "sic" it.

    The Mystery of Choice Robert William Chambers
  • It had a special covering of fitted armor, thin but strong, shut up like a clamshell.

    Herland Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman
  • And so Ab slid down the tree, clamshell in hand, and began laboring vigorously at the spot agreed upon.

    The Story of Ab Stanley Waterloo
  • It was not a difficult task for a strong boy to cut through tough grass roots with the keen edge of the clamshell.

    The Story of Ab Stanley Waterloo
  • The co-pilot closed the clamshell doors, and it became possible to hear oneself think again.

    Space Platform Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for clamshell


(mainly US) a dredging bucket that is hinged like the shell of a clam
  1. an aircraft cockpit canopy hinged at the front and rear
  2. the hinged door of a cargo aircraft
  3. another name for eyelid (sense 2)
any of a variety of objects hinged like the shell of a clam, such as a container for takeaway food, a portable computer, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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