purple shell
Ianthina I*an"thi*na, n.; pl. L. {Ianthin[ae]}, E. {Ianthinas}. [NL., fr. L. ianthinus violet-blue, Gr. ?; ? violet + ? flower.] (Zo["o]l.) Any gastropod of the genus {Ianthina}, of which various species are found living in mid ocean; -- called also {purple shell}, and {violet snail}. [Written also {janthina}.] [1913 Webster]

Note: It floats at the surface by means of a raft, which it constructs by forming and uniting together air bubbles of hardened mucus. The Tyrian purple of the ancients was obtained in part from mollusks of this genus. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Purple shell — Purple Pur ple, a. 1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe. [1913 Webster] 2. Imperial; regal; so called from the color having been an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purple shell — noun or purple snail 1. a. : a gastropod mollusk that is a source of purple dye : purple 1c(1) b. : janthina 2 2 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Purple — Pur ple, a. 1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe. [1913 Webster] 2. Imperial; regal; so called from the color having been an emblem …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Purple bird — Purple Pur ple, a. 1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe. [1913 Webster] 2. Imperial; regal; so called from the color having been an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Purple copper ore — Purple Pur ple, a. 1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe. [1913 Webster] 2. Imperial; regal; so called from the color having been an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Purple grackle — Purple Pur ple, a. 1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe. [1913 Webster] 2. Imperial; regal; so called from the color having been an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Purple martin — Purple Pur ple, a. 1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe. [1913 Webster] 2. Imperial; regal; so called from the color having been an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Purple sandpiper — Purple Pur ple, a. 1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe. [1913 Webster] 2. Imperial; regal; so called from the color having been an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purple snail — noun see purple shell …   Useful english dictionary

  • Purple — Pur ple, n.; pl. {Purples}. [OE. purpre, pourpre, OF. purpre, porpre, pourpre, F. pourpre, L. purpura purple fish, purple dye, fr. Gr. ? the purple fish, a shell from the purple dye was obtained, purple dye; cf. ? dark (said of the sea), purple,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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