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[lim-pit] /ˈlɪm pɪt/
any of various marine gastropods with a low conical shell open beneath, often browsing on rocks at the shoreline and adhering when disturbed.
Origin of limpet
before 1050; Middle English lempet, Old English lempedu, nasalized variant of *lepedu < Latin lepada, accusative of lepas < Greek lepás limpet Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for limpet
Historical Examples
  • "Our good old Church is like a limpet on the shore," he said.

  • John swore and struggled, but the old man stuck like a limpet.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Nevertheless, he clung to his seat like a limpet, and pulled at his oar with all his might.

    The Thorogood Family R.M. Ballantyne
  • Mr. limpet looked at Mr. Grigg to see if any emotion was advisable.

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
  • What was Grigg and limpet's clerk doing there at that time of night?

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
  • Then Grigg pulled out his watch, while limpet read the Times.

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
  • When it had been given, young limpet was about to go, when he remembered something.

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
  • A crowd came about in a minute, and Mr. limpet was in the thick of it.

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
  • The officer also went to Grigg and limpet, and received from them the forged cheque.

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
  • But it isn't the Judgment-day yet—at least, I hope not—eh, Mr. limpet?'

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
British Dictionary definitions for limpet


any of numerous marine gastropods, such as Patella vulgata (common limpet) and Fissurella (or Diodora) apertura (keyhole limpet), that have a conical shell and are found clinging to rocks
any of various similar freshwater gastropods, such as Ancylus fluviatilis (river limpet)
(modifier) relating to or denoting certain weapons that are attached to their targets by magnetic or adhesive properties and resist removal: limpet mines
a small open caisson shaped to fit against a dock wall, used mainly in repair work
Word Origin
Old English lempedu, from Latin lepas, from Greek
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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Word Origin and History for limpet

marine gastropod mollusk, early 14c., from Old English lempedu, from Medieval Latin lampreda "limpet" (see lamprey).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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