pearl oyster



any of several marine bivalve mollusks of the family Pteriidae, some of which form pearls of great value, inhabiting waters of eastern Asia and off the coasts of Panama and Baja California.

Origin of pearl oyster

First recorded in 1685–95 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pearl oyster

Historical Examples of pearl oyster

  • The best mother-of-pearl is also obtained from the shells of the pearl-oyster.

  • The pearl-oyster is a large mollusk, the shell weighing sometimes as much as eight pounds.

    Under the Southern Cross

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • It proved to be a pearl-oyster, as Max had supposed, and on being opened was found to contain eleven seed-pearls.

    The Island Home

    Richard Archer

  • The iridescent nacreous inner layer of several species of shells, especially the "pearl-oyster" (Meleagrina margaritifera).

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • In addition to the foregoing industries, there is another of almost equal importance—that of the pearl and pearl-oyster fishery.

    Spinifex and Sand

    David W Carnegie

British Dictionary definitions for pearl oyster

pearl oyster


any of various tropical marine bivalves of the genus Pinctada and related genera: a major source of pearls
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