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[lob-ster] /ˈlɒb stər/
noun, plural (especially collectively) lobster (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) lobsters.
any of various large, edible, marine, usually dull-green, stalk-eyed decapod crustaceans of the family Homaridae, especially of the genus Homarus, having large, asymmetrical pincers on the first pair of legs, one used for crushing and the other for cutting and tearing: the shell turns bright red when cooked.
any of various similar crustaceans, as certain crayfishes.
the edible meat of these animals.
Origin of lobster
before 1000; Middle English lopster, Old English loppestre literally, spidery creature (loppe spider (see lob1) + -stre -ster); cf. lop1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for lobster


noun (pl) -sters, -ster
any of several large marine decapod crustaceans of the genus Homarus, esp H. vulgaris, occurring on rocky shores and having the first pair of limbs modified as large pincers
any of several similar crustaceans, esp the spiny lobster
the flesh of any of these crustaceans, eaten as a delicacy
Word Origin
Old English loppestre, from loppe spider
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for lobster

marine shellfish, Old English loppestre "lobster, locust," corruption of Latin locusta, lucusta "lobster, locust," by influence of Old English loppe "spider," a variant of lobbe. The ending of Old English loppestre is the fem. agent noun suffix (cf. Baxter, Webster; see -ster), which approximated the Latin sound.

Perhaps a transferred use of the Latin word; trilobite fossils in Worcestershire limestone quarries were known colloquially as locusts, which seems to be the generic word for "unidentified arthropod," as apple is for "foreign fruit." OED says the Latin word originally meant "lobster or some similar crustacean, the application to the locust being suggested by the resemblance in shape." Locusta in the sense "lobster" also appears in French (langouste now "crawfish, crayfish," but in Old French "lobster" and "locust;" a 13c. psalter has God giving over the crops of Egypt to the langoustes) and Old Cornish (legast). As slang for "a British soldier" since 1640s, originally in reference to the jointed armor of the Roundhead cuirassiers, later (1660) to the red coat.

Sir William Waller having received from London [in June 1643] a fresh regiment of five hundred horse, under the command of sir Arthur Haslerigge, which were so prodigiously armed that they were called by the other side the regiment of lobsters, because of their bright iron shells with which they were covered, being perfect curasseers. [Clarendon, "History of the Rebellion," 1647]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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