• synonyms


[den-tey-lee-uh m]
noun, plural den·ta·li·ums, den·ta·li·a.
  1. any tooth shell of the genus Dentalium.
Show More

Origin of dentalium

1860–65; < New Latin < Medieval Latin dentāl(is) dental + -ium -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dentalium

Historical Examples

  • Two dentalium shells of which one was crushed and discarded.

    The Archaeology of the Yakima Valley

    Harlan Ingersoll Smith

  • Incised designs on dentalium shells are shown in Figs. 117 and 118.

  • One of the most characteristic of them lives in Dentalium, the tooth-shell.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • This is the well-known Dentalium pretiosum, or Tooth-shell, generally known as the Hioqua.

  • Upon the west coast Dentalium pretiosum is very abundant north of California.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

British Dictionary definitions for dentalium


noun plural -liums or -lia (-lɪə)
  1. any scaphopod mollusc of the genus DentaliumSee tusk shell
Show More

Word Origin

C19: New Latin, from Medieval Latin dentālis dental
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