pearl oyster definition

  • noun:
    • any one of a few bivalve marine mollusks of genus Pinctada and relevant genera of exotic seas, specifically P. margaritifera, an important commercial source of pearls.
    • any one of several bivalve molluscs which are a source of pearls, but specially Pinctada margaritifera
    • View under Pearl.
    • any one of several species of large tropical marine bivalve mollusks of the genus Meleagrina, or Margaritifera, found in the East Indies (especially at Ceylon), in the Persian Gulf, on the coast of Australia, and on the Pacific coast of America. Called also pearl shell, and pearl mussel.
    • A pearl-bearing bivalve mollusk of the family members Aviculidæ, as Meleagrina margaritifera of Indian seas, also species. See cut-under Meleagrina.
    • tropical marine bivalve discovered chiefly off eastern Asia and Pacific shore of united states and Central The united states; an important way to obtain pearls

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