barnacle

1
[bahr-nuh-kuh l]
noun
  1. 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.
  2. a person or thing that clings tenaciously.

Origin of barnacle

1
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
Related formsbar·na·cled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for barnacled

Historical Examples of barnacled

  • Picking his way over the barnacled rocks he started for the beach.

    El Diablo

    Brayton Norton

  • Then Mart gripped the kris, tore it from the barnacled wood, and whipped around to meet his enemy.

    The Pirate Shark

    Elliott Whitney

  • 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.

  • I have forgotten to say that we found the barnacled cask nearly filled with a most delicious wine which none of us can name.


British Dictionary definitions for barnacled

barnacle

noun
  1. 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
  2. a person or thing that is difficult to get rid of
Derived Formsbarnacled, 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

Word Origin and History for barnacled

barnacle

n.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

barnacled in Science

barnacle

[bärnə-kəl]
  1. 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.