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

  • n. The branch of zoology that deals with the study of mollusks and shells.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the study of molluscs and their shells
  • n. the hobby of shell collecting

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The science of Mollusca, and of the shells which they form; malacology.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The science of shells and shell-fish.
  • n. The word came into use when mollusks were chiefly studied with reference to their shells. Since increased attention has been given to the structure of the soft parts of mollusks, the term conchology is frequently replaced by malacology (which see). Shells were formerly divided into three orders, univalves, bivalves, and multivalves, according to the number of parts of which they are composed.

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

  • n. the collection and study of mollusc shells


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • But you must unbend, you know. Why, you might take to some light study: conchology, now: I always think that must be a light study. Or get Dorothea to read you light things, Smollett -- Roderick Random, Humphrey Clinker: they are a little broad, but she may read anything now she's married, you know.

    --George Eliot, 1872, Middlemarch

    November 8, 2007