any of various marine gastropods with a low conical shell open beneath, often browsing on rocks at the shoreline and adhering when disturbed.

Origin of limpet

before 1050; Middle English lempet, Old English lempedu, nasalized variant of *lepedu < Latin lepada, accusative of lepas < Greek lepás limpet Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for limpet

mine, clam, abalone, snail, whelk, chiton, cuttlefish

Examples from the Web for limpet

Historical Examples of limpet

  • "Our good old Church is like a limpet on the shore," he said.

  • John swore and struggled, but the old man stuck like a limpet.

    Robert Elsmere

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • Nevertheless, he clung to his seat like a limpet, and pulled at his oar with all his might.

    The Thorogood Family

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Mr. Limpet looked at Mr. Grigg to see if any emotion was advisable.

    Rogues and Vagabonds

    George R. Sims

  • When it had been given, young Limpet was about to go, when he remembered something.

    Rogues and Vagabonds

    George R. Sims

British Dictionary definitions for limpet



any of numerous marine gastropods, such as Patella vulgata (common limpet) and Fissurella (or Diodora) apertura (keyhole limpet), that have a conical shell and are found clinging to rocks
any of various similar freshwater gastropods, such as Ancylus fluviatilis (river limpet)
(modifier) relating to or denoting certain weapons that are attached to their targets by magnetic or adhesive properties and resist removallimpet mines
a small open caisson shaped to fit against a dock wall, used mainly in repair work

Word Origin for limpet

Old English lempedu, from Latin lepas, from Greek
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 limpet

marine gastropod mollusk, early 14c., from Old English lempedu, from Medieval Latin lampreda "limpet" (see lamprey).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper