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or mollusc

[mol-uh sk] /ˈmɒl əsk/
any invertebrate of the phylum Mollusca, typically having a calcareous shell of one, two, or more pieces that wholly or partly enclose the soft, unsegmented body, including the chitons, snails, bivalves, squids, and octopuses.
Origin of mollusk
1775-85; < French mollusque < New Latin Mollusca; see Mollusca
Related forms
molluskan, molluscan
[muh-luhs-kuh n] /məˈlʌs kən/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun
mollusklike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mollusc
Historical Examples
  • Christopher found the mollusc very shy, the shell innutritive.

    Cruel Barbara Allen David Christie Murray
  • The mollusc has the advantage of finding his defence within himself.

    The Sea Jules Michelet
  • It is not enough that the mollusc should have a fine flavour; it must have the peculiar taste.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • Latreille, on the contrary, classed them near the mollusc, chiton.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • Was then the mollusc or the chief the root from which the god grew up?

  • Little by little it slips in between the mollusc and its house, and devours it entirely.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • We are crotchety and strange too, I with my mollusc hobby, you with your fishing.

    Of High Descent George Manville Fenn
  • We were too hungry to wait, so we sat down to our mollusc meal.

  • That is why that delightful play, The mollusc,40 failed in this country.

    Dramatic Technique

    George Pierce Baker
  • She has the emotions of a mollusc as far as your sex is concerned.

    The Streets of Ascalon Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for mollusc


any invertebrate of the phylum Mollusca, having a soft unsegmented body and often a shell, secreted by a fold of skin (the mantle). The group includes the gastropods (snails, slugs, etc), bivalves (clams, mussels, etc), and cephalopods (cuttlefish, octopuses, etc)
Derived Forms
molluscan, (US) molluskan (mɒˈlʌskən) adjective, noun
mollusc-like, (US) mollusk-like, adjective
Word Origin
C18: via New Latin from Latin molluscus, from mollis soft
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 mollusc

see mollusk.



1783, mollusque (modern spelling from 1839), from French mollusque, from Modern Latin Mollusca (see Mollusca), the phylum name. Related: Molluscuous; molluscan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mollusc in Science
mollusk or mollusc
Any of numerous invertebrate animals of the phylum Mollusca, usually living in water and often having a hard outer shell. They have a muscular foot, a well-developed circulatory and nervous system, and often complex eyes. Mollusks include gastropods (snails and shellfish), slugs, octopuses, squids, and the extinct ammonites. Mollusks appear in the fossil record in the early Cambrian Period, but it is not known from what group they evolved.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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