any bivalve mollusk, especially an edible marine bivalve of the family Mytilidae and a freshwater clam of the family Unionidae.

before 1000; Middle English, Old English muscle < Vulgar Latin *mūscula, variant of Latin mūsculus little mouse, sea mussel. See muscle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To mussel
World English Dictionary
mussel (ˈmʌsəl)
1.  any of various marine bivalves of the genus Mytilus and related genera, esp M. edulis (edible mussel), having a dark slightly elongated shell and living attached to rocks, etc,
2.  any of various freshwater bivalves of the genera Anodonta, Unio, etc, attached to rocks, sand, etc having a flattened oval shell (a source of mother-of-pearl). The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, can be a serious nuisance in water mains
[Old English muscle, from Vulgar Latin muscula (unattested), from Latin musculus, diminutive of mūs mouse]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. muscle, musscel, from L.L. muscula (cf. O.Fr. musle, modern Fr. moule), from L. musculus "mussel," lit. "little mouse," also "muscle;" like muscle, derived from mus "mouse" on the perceived similarity of size and shape. The modern spelling, distinguishing the word from muscle, first recorded 1610,
not fully established until 1870s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
They're larger and meatier than the traditional blue mussel.
They then placed a mussel in to see how the fish competed for food.
In other cases, such as the zebra mussel and feral pigs, only control cost data
  are collected.
They are often seen with a clam or mussel and a rock that has been deftly
  snared from the ocean floor.
Images for mussel
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature