any of various bivalve mollusks, specif.,
- any of a sometimes edible saltwater family (Mytilidae) that anchors to rocks, ships, etc. by byssus threads
- any of a freshwater family (Unionidae) that is large-sized, may produce pearls, and is used to make buttons
Origin of musselMiddle English muscle ; from OE, akin to Old High German muscula, both ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form muscula, for Classical Latin musculus, mussel, muscle
- Any of various marine bivalve mollusks that attach to hard surfaces in intertidal areas with byssal threads, especially the edible members of the family Mytilidae and in particular Mytilus edulis, a blue-black species of the North Atlantic Ocean, raised commercially for food.
- Any of numerous freshwater bivalve mollusks of the order Unionoida that burrow in the sand or mud of rivers, streams, and ponds.
- Any of several similar bivalve mollusks, such as the zebra mussel.
Origin of musselAlteration (possibly influenced by Dutch mossel) of Middle English muscle, from Old English muscelle, from Medieval Latin m&umacron;scula, from Latin m&umacron;sculus, sea mussel; see muscle.
From Latin mÅ«sculus (“mussel or muscle"), literally "little mouse".