whelk
whelk1
/hwelk, welk/, n.
any of several large, spiral-shelled, marine gastropods of the family Buccinidae, esp. Buccinum undatum, that is used for food in Europe.
[bef. 900; late ME, aspirated var. of ME welk, OE weoloc]
whelk2
/hwelk, welk/, n.
a pimple or pustule.
[bef. 1000; ME whelke, OE hwylca, hwelca; akin to WHEAL]

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Any marine snail of the family Buccinidae, or a snail having a similar shell; found worldwide.

Some whelks are called conchs. The sturdy shell of most species in the family is slender and has a wide opening in the first whorl. The animal feeds on other mollusks through its long proboscis; some species also kill fishes and crustaceans caught in commercial traps. Most are cold-water species; tropical species are smaller and more colourful. The common northern whelk (Buccinum undatum) has a stout pale shell about 3 in. (8 cm) long and is abundant in North Atlantic waters.

Northern whelk (Buccinum undatum)

Ingmar Holmasen

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▪ marine snail
 any marine snail of the family Buccinidae (subclass Prosobranchia of the class Gastropoda), or a snail having a similar shell. Some are incorrectly called conchs. The sturdy shell of most buccinids is elongated and has a wide aperture in the first whorl. The animal feeds on other mollusks through its long proboscis; some also kill fishes and crustaceans caught in commercial traps. Whelks occur worldwide. Most are cold-water species, which tend to be larger and less colourful than those of the tropics. The common northern whelk (Buccinum undatum) has a stout pale shell about 8 cm (3 inches) long and is abundant in North Atlantic waters. For fulgur whelks, see conch; for rock whelks, see murex.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whelk — (hw[e^]lk), n. [OE. welk, wilk, AS. weoloc, weloc, wiloc. Cf. {Whilk}, and {Wilk}.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one numerous species of large marine gastropods belonging to {Buccinum} and allied genera; especially, {Buccinum undatum}, common on the coasts… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Whelk — Whelk, n. [OE. whelke, dim. of whele. See {Wheal} a pustule.] [1913 Webster] 1. A papule; a pustule; acne. His whelks white. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. A stripe or mark; a ridge; a wale. [1913 Webster] {Chin whelk} (Med.), sycosis. {Rosy whelk}… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whelk — [welk] n [: Old English; Origin: hweoloc] a small sea animal that has a shell and can be eaten …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • whelk — [ welk, hwelk ] noun count a small SHELLFISH that lives along the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is sometimes eaten as food …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • whelk — large marine snail, O.E. weoloc, wioloc, from P.Gmc. *weluka (Cf. M.Du. willoc, Du. wulk), perhaps from PIE root *wel to turn, revolve (see VULVA (Cf. vulva); Cf. also VOLUTE (Cf. volute)). The spelling with wh dates from 15c …   Etymology dictionary

  • whelk — ► NOUN ▪ a predatory marine mollusc with a heavy pointed spiral shell, some kinds of which are edible. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • whelk — [hwelk, welk] n. [ME welke < OE wioluc < IE base * wel , to turn (with reference to the spiral shell) > WALK] any of various families (esp. Buccinidae) of large marine snails which are often carnivorous and edible …   English World dictionary

  • Whelk — Taxobox name = PAGENAME image width = 250px image caption = A lightning whelk shell found on a Gulf of Mexico beach in Louisiana. regnum = Animalia phylum = Mollusca classis = Gastropoda subclassis = Orthogastropoda superordo = Caenogastropoda… …   Wikipedia

  • whelk — UK [welk] / US / US [hwelk] noun [countable] Word forms whelk : singular whelk plural whelks a small shellfish that lives along the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is sometimes eaten as food …   English dictionary

  • whelk — I. noun Etymology: Middle English welke, from Old English weoloc; akin to Middle Dutch willoc whelk and perhaps to Latin volvere to turn more at voluble Date: before 12th century any of numerous large marine snails (as of the genus Buccinum);… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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