[ bis-uh s ]
/ ˈbɪs əs /

noun, plural bys·sus·es, bys·si [bis-ahy] /ˈbɪs aɪ/.

Zoology. a collection of silky filaments by which certain mollusks attach themselves to rocks.
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 forms

bys·sa·ceous [bih-sey-shuh s] /bɪˈseɪ ʃəs/, bys·soid, adjectivebys·sal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for byssus

British Dictionary definitions for byssus


/ (ˈbɪsəs) /

noun plural byssuses or byssi (ˈbɪsaɪ)

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
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