• synonyms


[sawft-shel, soft-]
See more synonyms for soft-shell on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also soft-shelled. having a soft, flexible, or fragile shell, as a crab that has recently molted.
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  1. a soft-shell animal, especially a soft-shell crab.
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Origin of soft-shell

First recorded in 1795–1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for soft-shelled

Historical Examples

  • This is consumed in large quantities, especially in the soft-shelled state.

    The Life of Crustacea

    William Thomas Calman

  • Their own bodies were as vulnerable as that of a soft-shelled crab!

  • When it does that it is a soft-shelled crab for a time, and very good to eat.

  • Soft-shelled crabs require a somewhat different kind of preparation.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • If killed, the bodies will fall off easily, and in the case of the soft-shelled species shrivel up somewhat after a time.

Word Origin and History for soft-shelled


1611, from soft (adj.) + shell (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper