- 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.
Origin of barnacle1
Examples from the Web for barnacled
Historical Examples of barnacled
Picking his way over the barnacled rocks he started for the beach.El Diablo
Then Mart gripped the kris, tore it from the barnacled wood, and whipped around to meet his enemy.The Pirate Shark
The rumble and roar bored itself into a remote corner of my brain while I watched that barnacled hulk and concentrated.Cue for Quiet
Thomas L. Sherred
For though handsome lads, they were all (in the Scots phrase) barnacled.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition
Robert Louis Stevenson
I have forgotten to say that we found the barnacled cask nearly filled with a most delicious wine which none of us can name.The Mutiny of the Elsinore
Word Origin for barnacle
early 13c., "species of wild goose;" as a type of "shellfish," first recorded 1580s. Often derived from a Celtic source (cf. Breton bernik, a kind of shellfish), but the application to the goose predates that of the shellfish in English. The goose nests in the Arctic in summer and returns to Europe in the winter, hence the mystery surrounding its reproduction. It was believed in ancient superstition to hatch from barnacle's shell, possibly because the crustacean's feathery stalks resemble goose down. The scientific name of the crustacean, Cirripedes, is from Greek cirri "curls of hair" + pedes "feet."
- 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.