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bêche-de-mer

[besh-duh-mair, beysh-]
noun, plural bêch·es-de-mer, (especially collectively) bêche-de-mer for 1.
  1. a trepang.
  2. Often Bêche-de-Mer. Neo-Melanesian.
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Origin of bêche-de-mer

1805–15; erroneously for French biche de mer < Portuguese bicho do mar literally, animal of the sea; cf. Beach-la-Mar
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for beche-de-mer

Historical Examples of beche-de-mer

  • We must fill the three schooners with copra and beche-de-mer.

    South Sea Tales

    Jack London

  • On the reefs of the Southern Ocean is found a kind of sea-slug termed the Beche-de-mer.

  • There were traders old and young, beche-de-mer fishermen, old beach-combers and blackbirders.


British Dictionary definitions for beche-de-mer

bêche-de-mer

noun plural bêches-de-mer (ˌbɛʃdəˈmɛə) or bêche-de-mer
  1. another name for trepang
  2. See Beach-la-Mar
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Word Origin for bêche-de-mer

C19: quasi-French, from earlier English biche de mer, from Portuguese bicho do mar worm of the sea
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