- 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 mussel
- Alteration (possibly influenced by Dutch mossel) of Middle English muscle from Old English muscelle from Medieval Latin mūscula from Latin mūsculus sea mussel muscle
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin mÅ«sculus (“mussel or muscle"), literally "little mouse".