soft-shell crab

noun
a crab, especially the blue crab, that has recently molted and therefore has a soft, edible shell.

Origin:
1835–45

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
soft-shell crab
 
n
Compare hard-shell crab a crab, esp of the edible species Cancer pagurus, that has recently moulted and has not yet formed its new shell

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Menu items include such seafood dishes as oysters, lobster, soft-shell crab and deep-fried catfish.
House specialties include soft-shell crab, fish with spicy sauce and curry duck.
Seafood is flown in fresh daily, and sushi and soft-shell crab appetizers appear frequently on the menu.
Within a few days, the soft-shell crab becomes an active, ravenous feeder.
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