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[ab-uh-loh-nee] /ˌæb əˈloʊ ni/
a large mollusk of the genus Haliotis, having a bowllike shell bearing a row of respiratory holes, the flesh of which is used for food and the shell for ornament and as a source of mother-of-pearl.
Origin of abalone
California Spanish
1840-50, Americanism; taken as singular of California Spanish abulones, plural of abulón, aulón < a word in Rumsen, a Costanoan language formerly spoken at Monterey, California Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for abalone
  • Now, imagine us making our bones or our teeth, or imagine an abalone making a shell.
  • They ate fruit salad with honey dressing as well as salmon and abalone.
  • It is in fact equivalent to the return rate for abalone report cards.
  • Recently, artificial seedlings have been released to enhance the abalone fisheries.
  • abalone creel surveys based on interviews with fishermen have recently shown indications of declining abalone populations.
  • Squid belong to the same group of animals as clams, scallops, oysters and abalone.
British Dictionary definitions for abalone


any of various edible marine gastropod molluscs of the genus Haliotis, having an ear-shaped shell that is perforated with a row of respiratory holes. The shells are used for ornament or decoration Also called ear shell See also ormer
Word Origin
C19: from American Spanish abulón; origin unknown
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
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Word Origin and History for abalone

type of marine shell, 1850, American English, from Spanish abulon from Costanoan (a California coastal Indian language family) aluan "red abalone."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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