[ ab-uh-loh-nee ]
/ ˌæb əˈloʊ ni /


a large mollusk of the genus Haliotis, having a bowllike shell bearing a row of respiratory holes, the flesh of which is used for food and the shell for ornament and as a source of mother-of-pearl.


Nearby words

  1. abagtha,
  2. abailard,
  3. abakan,
  4. abalienate,
  5. abalienation,
  6. abamp,
  7. abampere,
  8. abandon,
  9. abandon hope, all ye who enter here,
  10. abandoned

Origin of abalone

1840–50, Americanism; taken as singular of California Spanish abulones, plural of abulón, aulón < a word in Rumsen, a Costanoan language formerly spoken at Monterey, California

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abalone

British Dictionary definitions for abalone


/ (ˌæbəˈləʊnɪ) /


any of various edible marine gastropod molluscs of the genus Haliotis, having an ear-shaped shell that is perforated with a row of respiratory holes. The shells are used for ornament or decorationAlso called: ear shell See also ormer

Word Origin for abalone

C19: from American Spanish abulón; origin unknown

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 abalone



type of marine shell, 1850, American English, from Spanish abulon from Costanoan (a California coastal Indian language family) aluan "red abalone."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper