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[yoo-nuh-valv] /ˈyu nəˌvælv/
adjective, Also, univalved, univalvular
[yoo-nuh-val-vyuh-ler] /ˌyu nəˈvæl vyə lər/ (Show IPA)
having one valve.
(of a shell) composed of a single valve or piece.
a univalve mollusk or its shell.
Origin of univalve
First recorded in 1655-65; uni- + valve Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for univalves
Historical Examples
  • The first two include univalves and Bivalves, the last only univalves.

    Our British Snails John William Horsley
  • Yet, since each of these three univalves has been this day created, these inferences are deceptive.

    Omphalos Philip Henry Gosse
  • The former are univalves and the latter bivalves having two shells for protection.

    Our British Snails John William Horsley
  • Care should be taken not to injure the edge or lip of the mouth of univalves, or the ligament of the hinge of bivalves.

    Our British Snails John William Horsley
  • Beads made from the columell of univalves have generally a number of distinguishing characteristics.

  • We believed the univalves had been chiefly described by him; one, or probably two of the species were not contained in his memoir.

  • The univalves which possess a siphon are, for the most part, carnivorous, and are often most voracious creatures.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • A few of the univalves are viviparous—that is, they produce their young alive; but the majority lay eggs.

    The Sea Shore William S. Furneaux
  • Most species of univalves are wanderers, many bivalves are free, and multivalves become fixed at an early stage of existence.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • Hermit Crabs take possession of the deserted shells of the univalves, and crawl in pursuit of garbage along the moist beach.

British Dictionary definitions for univalves


relating to, designating, or possessing a mollusc shell that consists of a single piece (valve)
a gastropod mollusc or its shell
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 univalves


1660s (noun and adjective), from uni- + valve.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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univalves in Science
A gastropod, especially one with a single shell, such as a snail, cone, whelk, abalone, or limpet. Univalves belong to the subclass Prosobranchia. Their shells are usually spiral and can hold the whole animal inside. Compare bivalve.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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