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pearl oyster

any of several marine bivalve mollusks of the family Pteriidae, some of which form pearls of great value, inhabiting waters of eastern Asia and off the coasts of Panama and Baja California.
Origin of pearl oyster
1685-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pearl-oyster
Historical Examples
  • In addition to the foregoing industries, there is another of almost equal importance—that of the pearl and pearl-oyster fishery.

    Spinifex and Sand David W Carnegie
  • The best mother-of-pearl is also obtained from the shells of the pearl-oyster.

  • The pearl-oyster is a large mollusk, the shell weighing sometimes as much as eight pounds.

    Under the Southern Cross Maturin M. Ballou
  • It proved to be a pearl-oyster, as Max had supposed, and on being opened was found to contain eleven seed-pearls.

    The Island Home Richard Archer
  • The iridescent nacreous inner layer of several species of shells, especially the "pearl-oyster" (Meleagrina margaritifera).

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • In the other hand he bore a kind of clapper formed of two pearl-oyster shells, beautifully polished.

  • It is not likely, however, that the manta devours anything larger than the pearl-oyster itself.

  • In short, this was not the pearl-oyster bed which had brought the two friends the greater part of the way around the globe.

    Adrift on the Pacific Edward S. Ellis
  • Pliny says the dew-or rain-drops fall into the shells of the pearl-oyster when it gapes.

    Ancient Man in Britain Donald A. (Donald Alexander) Mackenzie
British Dictionary definitions for pearl-oyster

pearl oyster

any of various tropical marine bivalves of the genus Pinctada and related genera: a major source of pearls
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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