murex

murex

[myoor-eks]
noun, plural murices [myoor-uh-seez] , 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:
1580–90; < Neo-Latin, Latin mūrex the shellfish that yielded Tyrian purple dye

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Collins
World English Dictionary
murex (ˈmjʊərɛks)
 
n , pl murices
any of various spiny-shelled marine gastropods of the genus Murex and related genera: formerly used as a source of the dye Tyrian purple
 
[C16: from Latin mūrex purple fish; related to Greek muax sea mussel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

murex
kind of shellfish which yields a purple dye, 1589, from L. murex (pl. murices), probably cognate with Gk. myax "sea mussel," of unknown origin, perhaps related to mys "mouse" (see muscle and mussel).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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