mollusk

[mol-uhsk]
noun
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.
Also, mollusc.


Origin:
1775–85; < French mollusque < Neo-Latin Mollusca; see Mollusca

molluskan, molluscan [muh-luhs-kuhn] , adjective, noun
mollusklike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mollusk
1783, from Fr. mollusque, from Mod.L. Mollusca, order name, adopted by Linnæus 1758 from L. mollusca, neut. pl. of molluscus "thin-shelled," from mollis "soft," from PIE base *mel-/*mol-/*ml- "grind." Linnæus applied the word to a heterogeneous group of invertebrates, not originally including
mollusks with shells; the modern scientific use is after a classification proposed 1790s by Fr. naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
mollusk or mollusc   (mŏl'əsk)  Pronunciation Key 
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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
mollusks [(mol-uhsks)]

A phylum of invertebrates with soft bodies and muscular feet. Some mollusks also have hard shells. Oysters, clams, snails, slugs, octopuses, and squid are mollusks.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
There are stalls entirely devoted to mollusks, and others consecrated to
  legumes of every color and shape.
All cephalopod mollusks with three hearts are carnivorous, but only one type
  living in temperate waters is deadly to humans.
When the compressed material was introduced into laboratory tanks, the spines
  of sea urchins and the shells of mollusks dissolved.
To a lesser extent, it is also taken out of solution by corals and mollusks to
  form shells and reefs of carbonates.
Image for mollusks
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