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or mollusc

[mol-uh sk] /ˈmɒl əsk/
any invertebrate of the phylum Mollusca, typically having a calcareous shell of one, two, or more pieces that wholly or partly enclose the soft, unsegmented body, including the chitons, snails, bivalves, squids, and octopuses.
Origin of mollusk
1775-85; < French mollusque < New Latin Mollusca; see Mollusca
Related forms
molluskan, molluscan
[muh-luhs-kuh n] /məˈlʌs kən/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun
mollusklike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mollusk
Historical Examples
  • Try to conceive of this mollusk gravely applying for an official position, of any kind under the sun!

  • It is n't a mollusk's shell, either; it 's a caddice-worm's shell.

    The Poet at the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • But according to the chemist the Murex mollusk made a mistake in hitching the bromine to the wrong carbon atoms.

    Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
  • It is a mollusk because it has a mantle, a foot, and a radula.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • "A mollusk," said the chaplain, bringing out the word emphatically.

    Anne Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • He desired the shell of the mollusk that burrowed in the cleft of the cliff.

    A Singular Life Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
  • He had a heart of gold, a silver tongue, and the spine of a mollusk.

    Essays on Scandinavian Literature Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
  • The mollusk has years in which to build her spiral, so she makes it very perfectly.

    Insect Adventures J. Henri Fabre
  • Colonial records show us that the early colonists were not slow in learning to "tread out" this mollusk from the mud flats.

    A Report upon the Mollusk Fisheries of Massachusetts Commissioners on Fisheries and Game
  • Does not a bird possess a higher degree of life than a mollusk, or a turtle?

    The Breath of Life John Burroughs
Word Origin and History for mollusk

1783, mollusque (modern spelling from 1839), from French mollusque, from Modern Latin Mollusca (see Mollusca), the phylum name. Related: Molluscuous; molluscan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mollusk in Science
mollusk or mollusc
Any of numerous invertebrate animals of the phylum Mollusca, usually living in water and often having a hard outer shell. They have a muscular foot, a well-developed circulatory and nervous system, and often complex eyes. Mollusks include gastropods (snails and shellfish), slugs, octopuses, squids, and the extinct ammonites. Mollusks appear in the fossil record in the early Cambrian Period, but it is not known from what group they evolved.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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