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[skol-uh p, skal-] /ˈskɒl əp, ˈskæl-/
any of the bivalve mollusks of the genus Argopecten (Pecten) and related genera that swim by rapidly clapping the fluted shell valves together.
the adductor muscle of certain species of such mollusks, used as food.
one of the shells of such a mollusk, usually having radial ribs and a wavy outer edge.
a scallop shell or a dish in which food, especially seafood, is baked and served.
Cookery. a thin slice of meat, usually further flattened by pounding with a mallet or other implement.
any of a series of curved projections cut along the edge, as of a fabric.
verb (used with object)
to finish (an edge) with scallops.
Cookery. to escallop.
verb (used without object)
to dredge for scallops.
Also, scollop.
Origin of scallop
1350-1400; Middle English scalop, aphetic variant of escal(l)op escallop; sense “thin slice of meat” probably by association with French escalope escalope
Related forms
unscalloped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scallops
  • My companion began with scallops and figs and followed with a perfectly seared cut of roast venison.
  • Tales of skate wings cut into circles and sold as scallops are common.
  • Starters and entrees feature fresh oysters and scallops, plus calamari, smoked salmon and a beef and basil salad.
  • To start, try the tuna sashimi, toasted sesame sea scallops or an order of beer-battered shrimp.
  • Seafood lovers may opt for the salt and pepper deep-fried squid, the prawns with lobster sauce or the scallops in garlic sauce.
  • Steak and seafood combination plates include shrimp and ribeye steak, fillet mignon and scallops and fillet and lobster.
  • The restaurant's house specialties include pan-fried grouper, blackened tilapia and fried bay scallops.
  • Go with a steak or choose one of the specialties, including roast duckling and scallops.
  • Menu options include entrees such as ricotta ravioli and pan-seared scallops.
  • Appetizers range in sophistication, from fried mozzarella and crab cakes to mussels and scallops.
British Dictionary definitions for scallops


/ˈskɒləp; ˈskæl-/
any of various marine bivalves of the family Pectinidae, having a fluted fan-shaped shell: includes free-swimming species (genus Pecten) and species attached to a substratum (genus Chlamys) See also pecten (sense 3)
the edible adductor muscle of certain of these molluscs
either of the shell valves of any of these molluscs
a scallop shell or similarly shaped dish, in which fish, esp shellfish, is cooked and served
one of a series of curves along an edge, esp an edge of cloth
the shape of a scallop shell used as the badge of a pilgrim, esp in the Middle Ages
(mainly Austral) a potato cake fried in batter
(transitive) to decorate (an edge) with scallops
to bake (food) in a scallop shell or similar dish
(intransitive) to collect scallops
Derived Forms
scalloper, noun
scalloping, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French escalope shell, of Germanic origin; see scalp
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 scallops



"bivalve mollusk," c.1400, from Old French escalope "shell (of a nut), carpace," variant of eschalope, probably from a Germanic source (cf. Old Norse skalpr "sheath," Middle Dutch schelpe "shell"); see scale (n.1). The shells of the larger species have been used as domestic utensils. Extended 17c. to objects shaped like scallop shells, especially in design and dress. The verb in the cookery sense, "to bake with sauce in a scallop shell-shaped pan," is attested from 1737. Related: Scalloped; scalloping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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