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seashell

[see-shel] /ˈsiˌʃɛl/
noun
1.
the shell of any marine mollusk.
Also, sea shell.
Origin
900
before 900; Old English sǣscill (not recorded in Middle English) see sea, shell
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sea shell

seashell

/ˈsiːˌʃɛl/
noun
1.
the empty shell of a marine mollusc
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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Word Origin and History for sea shell

seashell

n.

also sea-shell, Old English sæscel; see sea and shell (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for sea shell

hard exoskeleton of marine mollusks such as snails, bivalves, and chitons that serves to protect and support their bodies. It is composed largely of calcium carbonate, which is formed from substances secreted by the mantle, a skinlike tissue in the mollusk's body wall. Seashells are usually made up of several layers of distinct microstructures that have differing mechanical properties. The shell layers are secreted by different parts of the mantle, although actual incremental growth can take place only at the shell margin. One of the most distinctive microstructures is nacre, or mother-of-pearl, which occurs as an inner layer in the shells of some gastropods and bivalves and in those of the cephalopods Nautilus and Spirula.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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