mussel (n.) O.E. muscle, musscel "shellfish, mussel," from L.L. muscula (source of O.Fr. musle, Mod.Fr. moule, M.Du. mosscele, Du. mossel, O.H.G. muscula, Ger. Muschel), from L. musculus "mussel," lit. "little mouse," also "muscle;" like muscle, derived from mus "mouse" on the perceived similarity of size and shape. The modern spelling, distinguishing the word from muscle, first recorded c.1600, not fully established until 1870s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Mussel — Mus sel, n. [See {Muscle}, 3.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of many species of marine bivalve shells of the genus {Mytilus}, and related genera, of the family {Mytid[ae]}. The common mussel ({Mytilus edulis}; see Illust. under {Byssus}), and the larger …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mussel — [mus′əl] n. [ME muscle < OE, akin to OHG muscula, both < VL * muscula, for L musculus, mussel, MUSCLE] any of various bivalve mollusks; specif., a) any of a sometimes edible saltwater family (Mytilidae) that anchors to rocks, ships, etc. by …   English World dictionary

  • mussel — ► NOUN 1) a marine mollusc with a dark brown or purplish black shell. 2) a freshwater mollusc, some kinds of which produce small pearls. ORIGIN Latin musculus muscle …   English terms dictionary

  • Mussel — Not to be confused with muscle. Mussel Blue mussels Mytilus edulis in the intertidal zone in Cornwall, England Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • mussel — /mus euhl/, n. any bivalve mollusk, esp. an edible marine bivalve of the family Mytilidae and a freshwater clam of the family Unionidae. [bef. 1000; ME, OE muscle < VL *muscula, var. of L musculus little mouse, sea mussel. See MUSCLE] * * * Any… …   Universalium

  • Mussel — 52°57′18″N 7°2′17″E / 52.955, 7.03806 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mussel — noun /ˈmʌsəl/ A small edible bivalve shellfish of the families Unionidae (fresh water mussels) and Mytilidae (salt water mussels). See Also: zebra mussel, mussel bed, mussel bed …   Wiktionary

  • mussel — UK [ˈmʌs(ə)l] / US noun [countable] Word forms mussel : singular mussel plural mussels a small shellfish with a soft body inside a hard black or green shell, often cooked and eaten as food …   English dictionary

  • mussel — muscle, mussel Muscle is the fibrous body tissue, mussel the bivalve mollusc …   Modern English usage

  • mussel — noun Etymology: Middle English muscle, from Old English muscelle, from Vulgar Latin *muscula, from Latin musculus muscle, mussel Date: before 12th century 1. a marine bivalve mollusk (especially genus Mytilus) usually having a dark elongated… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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