- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mollusc
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
Latreille, on the contrary, classed them near the mollusc, chiton.
It is not enough that the mollusc should have a fine flavour; it must have the peculiar taste.
Was then the mollusc or the chief the root from which the god grew up?The Origin of Man and of his Superstitions
- 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)
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
Word Origin and History for mollusc
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
- 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.
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