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

  • n. Any of various crabs belonging to a group within the order Decapoda that protect their soft unarmored abdomens by occupying and carrying about the empty shells of snails or other univalve mollusks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of crab species which salvages empty seashells or other portable objects to permanently shelter and protect their soft abdomens.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a marine decapod crustacean of the family Paguridæ. The species are numerous, and belong to many genera. Called also soldier crab. The hermit crabs usually occupy the dead shells of various univalve mollusks. See Illust. of Commensal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A crab of the family Paguridæ (which see).

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

  • n. small soft-bodied marine crustaceans living in cast-off shells of gastropods


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I’m sure it’s going to be a good book, but you don’t need to turn into a hermit crab like J.R. Salinger, right?

    Miss Misery

  • Disconsolate is the condition of the hermit crab who has outgrown his quarters, or has been enticed from them or

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • There is but one creature that seems to make use of the debris of the battlefield — the hermit crab (CAENOBITA), which but half armoured must to avert extermination fit itself into an empty shell, discarding as it grows each narrow habitation for a size larger.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber


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