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mollusc

Line breaks: mol|lusc
Pronunciation: /ˈmɒləsk
 
/
(US mollusk)

Definition of mollusc in English:

noun

An invertebrate of a large phylum which includes snails, slugs, mussels, and octopuses. They have a soft unsegmented body and live in aquatic or damp habitats, and most kinds have an external calcareous shell.
  • Phylum Mollusca: several classes, in particular Gastropoda, Bivalvia, and Cephalopoda
Example sentences
  • As gardeners already know, all other slugs and snails (or gastropod mollusks, to the experts) sport a soft and slimy foot.
  • The beach sands are dominated by shells of bivalve mollusks, mainly venerids, gastropods, and echinoderms.
  • Small fish and a variety of other aquatic creatures, including mollusks and crustaceans, make up the Pigeon Guillemot's diet.

Origin

late 18th century: from modern Latin mollusca, neuter plural of Latin molluscus, from mollis 'soft'.

More
  • Most molluscs have hard shells, but they need these because they are so soft underneath, which gives them their name, from Latin mollis ‘soft’. This also lies behind mollify (Late Middle English) originally to make soft, emollient (mid 17th century), and share an Indo-European root with Germanic melt (Old English) and mild (Old English).

Derivatives

molluscan

1
Pronunciation: /məˈlʌskən/
adjective
Example sentences
  • The adaptations of gastropods for drilling molluscan prey also increased during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.
  • Four new molluscan species, a bivalve and three gastropods, are named from shallow-marine, lower Upper Cretaceous strata in Oregon.
  • Despite their antiquity, living terebratulids are advanced organisms, able to out-perform molluscan bivalves in filter feeding efficiency under certain conditions.

Definition of mollusc in:

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