• synonyms


[myoo r-eks]
noun, plural mu·ri·ces [myoo r-uh-seez] /ˈmyʊər əˌsiz/, mu·rex·es.
  1. any marine gastropod of the genus Murex, common in tropical seas, certain species of which yield the royal purple dye valued by the ancients.
  2. a shell used as a trumpet, as in representations of Tritons in art.
  3. purplish red.
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Origin of murex

1580–90; < New Latin, Latin mūrex the shellfish that yielded Tyrian purple dye
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for murex

Historical Examples of murex

  • But murex or no murex, Purple was discovered by my ancestors.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • It was produced by a combination of the secretions of the murex and buccinum.

  • Some, again, are smooth, others nearly as rough as the Murex trunculus.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson

  • The genus Murex is supposed to have been the first species indicated by Aristotle.

    The Ocean World:

    Louis Figuier

  • Certainly not; the flesh of the murex can provide a pigment as well as food.

British Dictionary definitions for murex


noun plural murices (ˈmjʊərɪˌsiːz)
  1. any of various spiny-shelled marine gastropods of the genus Murex and related genera: formerly used as a source of the dye Tyrian purple
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Word Origin for murex

C16: from Latin mūrex purple fish; related to Greek muax sea mussel
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 murex


kind of shellfish which yields a purple dye, 1580s, from Latin murex (plural murices) "purple fish, purple dye," probably cognate with Greek myax "sea mussel," of unknown origin, perhaps related to mys "mouse" (see muscle (n.) and mussel).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper