Oyster Oys"ter (ois"t[~e]r), n. [OF. oistre, F. hu[^i]tre, L. ostrea, ostreum, Gr. 'o`streon; prob. akin to 'ostre`on bone, the oyster being so named from its shell. Cf. {Osseous}, {Ostracize}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any marine bivalve mollusk of the genus Ostrea. They are usually found adhering to rocks or other fixed objects in shallow water along the seacoasts, or in brackish water in the mouth of rivers. The common European oyster ({Ostrea edulis}), and the American oyster ({Ostrea Virginiana}), are the most important species. [1913 Webster]

2. A name popularly given to the delicate morsel contained in a small cavity of the bone on each side of the lower part of the back of a fowl. [1913 Webster]

{Fresh-water oyster} (Zo["o]l.), any species of the genus {Etheria}, and allied genera, found in rivers of Africa and South America. They are irregular in form, and attach themselves to rocks like oysters, but they have a pearly interior, and are allied to the fresh-water mussels.

{Oyster bed}, a breeding place for oysters; a place in a tidal river or other water on or near the seashore, where oysters are deposited to grow and fatten for market. See 1st {Scalp}, n.

{Oyster catcher} (Zo["o]l.), See {oystercatcher} in the vocabulary.

{Oyster crab} (Zo["o]l.) a small crab ({Pinnotheres ostreum}) which lives as a commensal in the gill cavity of the oyster.

{Oyster dredge}, a rake or small dragnet for bringing up oysters from the bottom of the sea.

{Oyster fish}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The tautog. (b) The toadfish.

{Oyster plant}. (Bot.) (a) A plant of the genus {Tragopogon} ({Tragopogon porrifolius}), the root of which, when cooked, somewhat resembles the oyster in taste; salsify; -- called also {vegetable oyster}. (b) A plant found on the seacoast of Northern Europe, America and Asia ({Mertensia maritima}), the fresh leaves of which have a strong flavor of oysters.

{Oyster plover}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {oystercatcher}.

{Oyster shell} (Zo["o]l.), the shell of an oyster.

{Oyster wench}, {Oyster wife}, {Oyster women}, a women who deals in oysters.

{Pearl oyster}. (Zo["o]l.) See under {Pearl}.

{Thorny oyster} (Zo["o]l.), any spiny marine shell of the genus {Spondylus}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • oyster — [ois′tər] n. [OFr oistre < L ostrea < Gr ostreon, oyster; akin to osteon, a bone: see OSSIFY] 1. any of various bivalve mollusks with an irregularly shaped, unequal shell, living attached to rocks, other shells, etc., and widely used as… …   English World dictionary

  • oyster — (n.) mid 14c., from O.Fr. oistre (Fr. huître), from L. ostrea, plural or fem. of ostreum oyster, from Gk. ostreon, from PIE *ost bone (see OSSEOUS (Cf. osseous)). Related to Gk. ostrakon hard shell and to osteon bone …   Etymology dictionary

  • oyster — ► NOUN 1) a bivalve marine mollusc with a rough, flattened, irregularly oval shell, several kinds of which are farmed for food or pearls. 2) a shade of greyish white. 3) an oval morsel of meat on each side of the backbone in poultry. ● the world… …   English terms dictionary

  • Oyster — For other uses, see Oyster (disambiguation). Crassostrea gigas from the Marennes Oléron basin in France The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The… …   Wikipedia

  • oyster — /oy steuhr/, n. 1. any of several edible, marine, bivalve mollusks of the family Ostreidae, having an irregularly shaped shell, occurring on the bottom or adhering to rocks or other objects in shallow water. 2. the oyster shaped bit of dark meat… …   Universalium

  • oyster — n. 1 any of various bivalve molluscs of the family Ostreidae or Aviculidae, esp. an edible kind, Ostrea edulus, of European waters. 2 an oyster shaped morsel of meat in a fowl s back. 3 something regarded as containing all that one desires (the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Oyster — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Le mot Oyster est surtout utilisé pour : Rolex Oyster Modèle de boîtier assurant un degré d étanchéité révolutionnaire à l époque inventé par Hans… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • oyster — /ˈɔɪstə / (say oystuh) noun 1. any of various edible marine bivalve molluscs, family Ostreidae, with irregularly shaped shell, found on the bottom or adhering to rocks, etc., in shallow water, some species being extensively cultivated for the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • oyster — [[t]ɔ͟ɪstə(r)[/t]] oysters 1) N COUNT An oyster is a large flat shellfish. Some oysters can be eaten and others produce valuable objects called pearls. He had two dozen oysters and enjoyed every one of them. 2) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that… …   English dictionary

  • oyster — UK [ˈɔɪstə(r)] / US [ˈɔɪstər] noun [countable] Word forms oyster : singular oyster plural oysters a type of shellfish that has a rough shell and is eaten as food, often raw. Some types of oyster contain pearls (= small white jewels) …   English dictionary

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