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mollusc genus, 1816, from Latinized form of Greek khiton "frock (worn by both sexes), tunic, mail coat" (see chitin). Used in English in literal sense of "ancient Greek tunic" from 1850. The molluscs also are known as "coat-of-mail shells" for their mail-like covering.
any of numerous flattened, bilaterally symmetrical marine mollusks, worldwide in distribution but most abundant in warm regions. The approximately 600 species are usually placed in the class Placophora, Polyplacophora, or Loricata (phylum Mollusca).