- Also soft-shelled. having a soft, flexible, or fragile shell, as a crab that has recently molted.
- a soft-shell animal, especially a soft-shell crab.
Origin of soft-shell
First recorded in 1795–1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for soft-shelled
This is consumed in large quantities, especially in the soft-shelled state.The Life of Crustacea
William Thomas Calman
Their own bodies were as vulnerable as that of a soft-shelled crab!
When it does that it is a soft-shelled crab for a time, and very good to eat.Six Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom's</p>
Laura Lee Hope
Soft-shelled crabs require a somewhat different kind of preparation.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
If killed, the bodies will fall off easily, and in the case of the soft-shelled species shrivel up somewhat after a time.The Practical Garden-Book
C. E. Hunn
Word Origin and History for soft-shelled
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper