- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for limpet
"Our good old Church is like a limpet on the shore," he said.The Woman Thou Gavest Me
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
Mr. Limpet looked at Mr. Grigg to see if any emotion was advisable.
When it had been given, young Limpet was about to go, when he remembered something.
- 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 removallimpet mines
- a small open caisson shaped to fit against a dock wall, used mainly in repair work
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
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