the shell of a clam.
Also called clamshell bucket. a dredging bucket opening at the bottom, consisting of two similar pieces hinged together at the top.
a machine equipped with such a bucket.
Printing. a platen press.

1490–1500; earlier clam-shell; see clam1, shell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
clamshell (ˈklæmˌʃɛl)
1.  chiefly (US) a dredging bucket that is hinged like the shell of a clam
2.  aeronautics
 a.  an aircraft cockpit canopy hinged at the front and rear
 b.  the hinged door of a cargo aircraft
 c.  another name for eyelid
3.  any of a variety of objects hinged like the shell of a clam, such as a container for takeaway food, a portable computer, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
On solid ground, the wings would swing into clamshell compartments, protected by a steel keel.
The clamshell bucket and backhoe dredges are described below.
Unfortunately, this little clamshell has a tough time translating even the
  simplest phrases correctly.
The clamshell design offers great game play, and you can use wi-fi to compete
  against your pals.
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