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2 definitions found
 for Byssus
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Byssus \Bys"sus\, n.; pl. E. Byssuses; L. Byssi.[L. byssus
     fine flax, fine linen or cotton, Gr. by`ssos .]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. A cloth of exceedingly fine texture, used by the ancients.
        It is disputed whether it was of cotton, linen, or silk.
        [Written also byss and byssin.]
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Zool.) A tuft of long, tough filaments which are formed
        in a groove of the foot, and issue from between the valves
        of certain bivalve mollusks, as the Pinna and Mytilus,
        by which they attach themselves to rocks, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. (Bot.) An obsolete name for certain fungi composed of
        slender threads.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. Asbestus.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: tuft of strong filaments by which e.g. a mussel makes
           itself fast to a fixed surface [syn: byssus, beard]

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