from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various bivalve mollusks of the family Cardiidae, having rounded or heart-shaped shells with radiating ribs.
  • n. The shell of a cockle.
  • n. A wrinkle; a pucker.
  • n. Nautical A cockleshell.
  • transitive v. To become or cause to become wrinkled or puckered.
  • idiom cockles of (one's) heart One's innermost feelings: The valentine warmed the cockles of my heart.
  • n. Any of several weedy plants, especially the corn cockle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various edible European bivalve mollusks, of the family Cardiidae, having heart-shaped shells.
  • n. The shell of such a mollusk.
  • n. One’s innermost feelings (only in the expression “the cockles of one’s heart”).
  • n. A wrinkle, pucker
  • n. hence A defect in sheepskin; firm dark nodules caused by the bites of keds on live sheep
  • v. To wrinkle, pucker
  • n. Any of several field weeds, such as the corn cockle, Agrostemma githago, and Lolium temulentum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bivalve mollusk, with radiating ribs, of the genus Cardium, especially Cardium edule, used in Europe for food; -- sometimes applied to similar shells of other genera.
  • n. A cockleshell.
  • n. The mineral black tourmaline or schorl; -- so called by the Cornish miners.
  • n. The fire chamber of a furnace.
  • n. A hop-drying kiln; an oast.
  • n. The dome of a heating furnace.
  • n. A plant or weed that grows among grain; the corn rose (Luchnis Githage).
  • n. The Lotium, or darnel.
  • transitive v. To cause to contract into wrinkles or ridges, as some kinds of cloth after a wetting.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pucker or contract into wrinkles, as cloth or glass.
  • To rise into frequent ridges, as the waves of a chopping sea.
  • To make a slight score on the cogs or teeth of a mill, as a guide for cutting off their ends, so that the whole may be given a truly circular form.
  • To cause to pucker in wrinkles: as, rain will cockle silk.
  • To cry like a cock.
  • n. Darnel, Lolium temulentum; rye-grass, L. perenne; tare; a weed generally.
  • n. The corn-rose or corn-cockle, Lychnis (Agrostemma) Githago.
  • n. A mollusk of the family Cardiidæ and genus Cardium; especially, the common edible species of Europe, Cardium edule; the shell of such mollusks.
  • n. An equivalve bivalve, resembling or related to mollusks of the genus Cardium.
  • n. A univalve mollusk of the family Muricidæ; the murex or purple-fish.
  • n. A ringlet or crimp.
  • n. [See cockle, verb] The instrument used in cockling the cogs of a mill.
  • n. Same as cockle, 2 .
  • n. To be hanged: from the noise made while strangling.
  • n. The body or fire-chamber of an air-stove, usually made of fire-brick.
  • n. A kind of kiln or stove for drying hops.
  • n. In porcelain manufacturing, a large stove used for drying biscuit-ware which has been dipped in glaze, preparatory to burning.
  • n. A young cock; a cockerel.
  • n. An Australian bivalve mollusk, Cardium tenuicostatum; also, a member of the genus Chione.
  • n. A small crisp confection of sugar stiffened with flour, variously flavored, and of a pink, light-yellow, or white color. Mottoes were printed on them in red letters.
  • n. A pucker or wrinkle; an unevenness, as in cloth or glass.
  • n. A disease of wheat caused by a nematoid worm, Telenchus tritici, which infests the grain and causes it to become deformed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. to gather something into small wrinkles or folds
  • n. common edible European bivalve
  • n. common edible, burrowing European bivalve mollusk that has a strong, rounded shell with radiating ribs
  • v. stir up (water) so as to form ripples


Middle English cokel, from Old French coquille, shell, from Vulgar Latin *cochillia, from Latin conchyllium, from Greek konkhulion, diminutive of konkhē, mussel.
Middle English cokkel, from Old English coccel, from Medieval Latin *cocculus, diminutive of Latin coccus, kermes berry, from Greek kokkos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French coquille, from Vulgar Latin *cocchilia, form of Latin conchylia, from Ancient Greek κογχύλιον (konkhylion), diminutive of κογχύλη (konkhylès, "mussel"). (Wiktionary)


  • Or has it been an accident that a nation which loved the sea and counted everything that floated human, sent its sons faring forth in cockle-shells to a land when there were still great spaces to be occupied?

    Imperial Plans in Education

  • And the cockle are the children of the wicked one.

    The Bible, Douay-Rheims, Book 47: Matthew The Challoner Revision

  • There are plants called cockle-burs whose seed-pods are provided with stickers in every direction, so that anything brushing against them is sure to pick them up.

    A Series of Lessons in Gnani Yoga

  • And I shall call the cockle-shells papa, for they are the biggest and strongest; and the dingle-bells shall be brother Hobart, and the cowslips brother

    Mother Goose in Prose

  • It took the opening credits of Roger Vadim's 1968 sci-fi send-up Barbarella -- a naked Jane Fonda floating in space to the accompaniment of the oh-so-'60s theme song "Barbarella, psychedella/There's a kind of cockle shell about you" -- to convince us otherwise.

    Michael Sigman: Memories of a Great Friend

  • It took the opening credits of Roger Vadim's 1968 sci-fi send-up Barbarella -- a naked Jane Fonda floating in space to the accompaniment of the oh-so-'60s theme song "Barbarella, psychedella /There's a kind of cockle shell about you" -- to convince us otherwise.

    Michael Sigman: Memories of a Great Friend

  • Here's a story that will warm the cockles of your heart (what is a "cockle," anyway?).

    December 2003

  • The fish are taken by hand-lining with "cockle" bait or by

    Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine

  • Testament we have "cockle", for which compare Job, xxxi, 40: "Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley."

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip

  • Originally called "motto hearts," their precursor was a trendy fortune cookie-like treat sold during the Civil War called a "cockle," which had printed phrases rolled up inside its scallop-shaped shell.

    The Full Feed from


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    August 22, 2009

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    December 27, 2007