noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English oistre, from Anglo-French, from Latin ostrea, from Greek ostreon; akin to Greek ostrakon shell, osteon bone — more at osseous Date: 13th century 1. a. any of various marine bivalve mollusks (family Ostreidae) that have a rough irregular shell closed by a single adductor muscle and include commercially important shellfish b. any of various mollusks resembling or related to the oysters 2. something that is or can be readily made to serve one's personal ends <
the world was her oyster
3. a small mass of muscle contained in a concavity of the pelvic bone on each side of the back of a fowl 4. an extremely taciturn person 5. a grayish-white color

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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