• synonyms


  1. the phylum comprising the mollusks.
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Origin of Mollusca

1790–1800; < New Latin, neuter plural of Latin molluscus soft; akin to mollis soft


[muh-luhs-kuh m]
noun, plural mol·lus·ca [muh-luhs-kuh] /məˈlʌs kə/. Pathology.
  1. any of various skin conditions characterized by soft, rounded tumors.
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Origin of molluscum

1805–15; < New Latin, Latin: fungus, noun use of neuter of molluscus soft; akin to mollis soft
Related formsmol·lus·cous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mollusca

Historical Examples of mollusca

Word Origin and History for mollusca



1797, from Modern Latin mollusca, chosen by Linnaeus as the name of an invertebrate order (1758), from neuter plural of Latin molluscus "thin-shelled," from mollis "soft" (see melt (v.)). Linnæus applied the word to a heterogeneous group of invertebrates, not originally including mollusks with shells; the modern scientific use is after a classification proposed 1790s by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mollusca in Medicine


n. pl. mol•lus•ca (-kə)
  1. Any of various skin diseases marked by the occurrence of soft spherical tumors on the face or the body.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.