1. Also called lamellibranch. Zoology. any mollusk, as the oyster, clam, scallop, or mussel, of the class Bivalvia, having two shells hinged together, a soft body, and lamellate gills.


  1. Botany. having two valves, as a seedcase.
  2. Zoology. having two shells, usually united by a hinge.
  3. having two similar parts hinged together.


  1. Also: pelecypod, lamellibranch any marine or freshwater mollusc of the class Pelecypoda (formerly Bivalvia or Lamellibranchia), having a laterally compressed body, a shell consisting of two hinged valves, and gills for respiration. The group includes clams, cockles, oysters, and mussels


  1. Also: pelecypod, lamellibranch of, relating to, or belonging to the Pelecypoda
  2. Also: bivalvate (baɪˈvælveɪt) biology having or consisting of two valves or similar partsa bivalve seed capsule

1660s in reference to mollusks with double shells; 1670s in reference to shutters or doors; from bi- + valve. The noun is 1680s in the mollusk sense.

  1. Any of various mollusks of the class Bivalvia, having a shell consisting of two halves hinged together. Clams, oysters, scallops, and mussels are bivalves. The class Bivalvia is also called Pelecypoda, and was formerly called Lamellibranchia. Compare univalve.

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