mother-of-pearl

mother-of-pearl

[muhth-er-uhv-purl]
noun
1.
a hard, iridescent substance that forms the inner layer of certain mollusk shells, used for making buttons, beads, etc.; nacre.
adjective
2.
of or having the qualities of mother-of-pearl, as being iridescent or pearly: mother-of-pearl buttons.

Origin:
1500–10; compare Italian madreperla, obsolete French mère perle

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Collins
World English Dictionary
mother-of-pearl
 
n
Also called: nacre a hard iridescent substance, mostly calcium carbonate, that forms the inner layer of the shells of certain molluscs, such as the oyster. It is used to make buttons, inlay furniture, etcRelated: nacreous
 
Related: nacreous

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
mother-of-pearl  
The hard, smooth, pearly layer on the inside of certain seashells, such as abalones and certain oysters. It is used to make buttons and jewelry. Also called nacre.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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