American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The pearly internal layer of certain mollusk shells, used to make decorative objects. Also called nacre.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The nacreous inner layer of the shell of various bivalve mollusks, as of the pearl-oyster, when hard, silvery, iridescent, or otherwise sufficiently beautiful to have commercial value; nacre. It is the substance of which pearls consist, a pearl being a mass of it instead of a layer. The large oysters of the Indian seas secrete this nacreous layer of sufficient thickness to render their shells available for purposes of trade. The genus Meleagrina furnishes the finest pearls as well as mother-of-pearl. These shells are found in the greatest perfection round the coasts of Ceylon, near Ormuz in the Persian Gulf, and in the Australian seas. Mother-of-pearl is procured from many different shells, univalve as well as bivalve, and is extensively used in the arts, particularly in inlaid work, and in the manufacture of knife-handles, buttons, toys, snuff-boxes, etc.
- adj. Made from or looking like mother-of-pearl; iridescent or pearly.
- n. The hard pearly inner layer of certain mollusk shells; nacre.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) The hard, iridescent, pearly internal layer of several kinds of shells, esp. of pearl oysters, river mussels, and the abalone shells; nacre. See pearl.
- n. the iridescent internal layer of a mollusk shell
“Colorful coat buttons on cards, tiny four-holed mother-of-pearl buttons.”
“The line began with mother-of-pearl charm bracelets, which Ms. Bidermann still makes.”
“Photographs by Kurt Wilberding Marco Bicego Jaipur bangle crafted in 18-karat yellow gold with citrine and mother-of-pearl, $890, and Jaipur bangle crafted in 18-karat yellow gold with citrine and blue topaz, $890 each, Saks, 877-551-7257”
“Guitars still get a little adventurous (though less so than in the heyday of 70s metal); accordions still break out a bonanza of mother-of-pearl now and then, as does the occasional drum set.”
“From the kinky locks of one of the naked young men he drew a hand-carved, fine-toothed comb, the lofty back of which was inlaid with mother-of-pearl, which he later sold in Sydney to a curio shop for eight shillings.”
“Mr. Jolly estimates he has sewn 12,000 mother-of-pearl buttons onto a single suit, some of which spell out his title across his back: the Pearly King of Crystal Palace.”
“They are groups of mainly aged "Cockney" Londoners who sew mother-of-pearl buttons on their clothes in lavish designs and sing sentimental pub songs.”
“It was very Wild West, with mother-of-pearl grips and a worn holster.”
“Reality hit when they started looking for a fine cotton fabric and mother-of-pearl buttons.”
“It was small by Susapan standards, twenty six miles on its axis, a bit over seven at its widest diameter, its smooth ovoid surface a mother-of-pearl swirling.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘mother-of-pearl’.
All the scientific words found in the official EU nomenclature. For the screening I used Vocabgrabber of the Visual Thesaurus.
includes words of the "Prodcom list"
Words used quite often in steampunk
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
Figurative 'mother' expressions.
I like concrete metaphors. These are building supplies I've used for poetry.
...All our joys were clotted
with pearls, all our griefs were denied
with stone, all our words...
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