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adjective Also u·ni·valved, u·ni·val·vu·lar [yoo-nuh-val-vyuh-ler] /ˌyu nəˈvæl vyə lər/.
  1. having one valve.
  2. (of a shell) composed of a single valve or piece.
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  1. a univalve mollusk or its shell.
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Origin of univalve

First recorded in 1655–65; uni- + valve
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for univalve


  1. relating to, designating, or possessing a mollusc shell that consists of a single piece (valve)
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  1. a gastropod mollusc or its shell
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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 univalve

1660s (noun and adjective), from uni- + valve.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

univalve in Science


  1. A gastropod, especially one with a single shell, such as a snail, cone, whelk, abalone, or limpet. Univalves belong to the subclass Prosobranchia. Their shells are usually spiral and can hold the whole animal inside. Compare bivalve.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.