byssus

[bis-uh s]
noun, plural bys·sus·es, bys·si [bis-ahy] /ˈbɪs aɪ/.
  1. Zoology. a collection of silky filaments by which certain mollusks attach themselves to rocks.
  2. an ancient cloth, thought to be of linen, cotton, or silk.

Origin of byssus

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek býssos a fine cotton or linen < Semitic; compare Hebrew būts
Related formsbys·sa·ceous [bih-sey-shuh s] /bɪˈseɪ ʃəs/, bys·soid, adjectivebys·sal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of byssus


British Dictionary definitions for byssus

byssus

noun plural byssuses or byssi (ˈbɪsaɪ)
  1. a mass of strong threads secreted by a sea mussel or similar mollusc that attaches the animal to a hard fixed surface

Word Origin for byssus

C17: from Latin, from Greek bussos linen, flax, ultimately of Egyptian origin
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