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murex

[myoo r-eks] /ˈmyʊər ɛks/
noun, plural murices
[myoo r-uh-seez] /ˈmyʊər əˌsiz/ (Show IPA),
murexes.
1.
any marine gastropod of the genus Murex, common in tropical seas, certain species of which yield the royal purple dye valued by the ancients.
2.
a shell used as a trumpet, as in representations of Tritons in art.
3.
purplish red.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Neo-Latin, Latin mūrex the shellfish that yielded Tyrian purple dye
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for murex

murex

/ˈmjʊərɛks/
noun (pl) murices (ˈmjʊərɪˌsiːz)
1.
any of various spiny-shelled marine gastropods of the genus Murex and related genera: formerly used as a source of the dye Tyrian purple
Word Origin
C16: from Latin mūrex purple fish; related to Greek muax sea mussel
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 murex
n.

kind of shellfish which yields a purple dye, 1580s, from Latin murex (plural murices) "purple fish, purple dye," probably cognate with Greek myax "sea mussel," of unknown origin, perhaps related to mys "mouse" (see muscle (n.) and mussel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for murex

any of the marine snails constituting the family Muricidae (subclass Prosobranchia of the class Gastropoda). Typically the elongated or heavy shell is elaborately spined or frilled. The family occurs throughout the world but mainly in the tropics. The many muricids that live in rocky shallows are called rock shells, or rock whelks.

Learn more about murex with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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