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barnacle

1
[ bahr-nuh-kuhl ]
/ ˈbɑr nə kəl /
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noun
any marine crustacean of the subclass Cirripedia, usually having a calcareous shell, being either stalked (goose barnacle ) and attaching itself to ship bottoms and floating timber, or stalkless (rock barnacle, or acorn barnacle ) and attaching itself to rocks, especially in the intertidal zone.
a person or thing that clings tenaciously.
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Origin of barnacle

1
First recorded in 1580–85; perhaps a conflation of barnacle “barnacle goose” with Cornish brennyk, Irish báirneach “limpet,” Welsh brenig “limpets,” reflecting the folk belief that such geese, whose breeding grounds were unknown, were engendered from rotten ships' planking; see barnacle goose

OTHER WORDS FROM barnacle

bar·na·cled, adjective

Other definitions for barnacle (2 of 2)

barnacle2
[ bahr-nuh-kuhl ]
/ ˈbɑr nə kəl /

noun
Usually barnacles. an instrument with two hinged branches for pinching the nose of an unruly horse.
barnacles, British Dialect. spectacles (def. 3).

Origin of barnacle

2
1350–1400; Middle English bernacle bit, diminutive of bernac<Old French < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use barnacle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for barnacle

barnacle
/ (ˈbɑːnəkəl) /

noun
any of various marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that, as adults, live attached to rocks, ship bottoms, etc. They have feathery food-catching cirri protruding from a hard shellSee acorn barnacle, goose barnacle
a person or thing that is difficult to get rid of

Derived forms of barnacle

barnacled, adjective

Word Origin for barnacle

C16: related to Late Latin bernicla, of obscure origin
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

Scientific definitions for barnacle

barnacle
[ bärnə-kəl ]

Any of various small marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that form a hard shell in the adult stage and attach themselves to underwater surfaces, such as rocks, the bottoms of ships, and the skin of whales.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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