View synonyms for soft-shell


[ sawft-shel, soft- ]


  1. Also soft-shelled. having a soft, flexible, or fragile shell, as a crab that has recently molted.


  1. a soft-shell animal, especially a soft-shell crab.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of soft-shell1

First recorded in 1795–1805

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Example Sentences

Pine nuts, bacon, soft-shell crab—these are the flavors of caterpillars, beetles, and tarantulas, if you can believe it.

With their meatier body, tarantulas are said to taste like to soft-shell crab or shrimp.

It is partial to the “soft-shell” crabs and small tortoises common in the American waters.

Also deviled whitebait; also shrimps of choice quality; and a platter of small soft-shell crabs of a most superior breed.

There is a weir in the river, in the deep waters of which it is said there are a very great number of soft-shell tortoises.

Before soft shell crabs are cooked, the sand-pocket and spongy substances under the edges of the shell should be removed.

The soft-shell crab is blanched five minutes, and fried like fish.


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soft servesoft-shell clam