Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous marine gastropod mollusks that have a conical shell and often adhere to rocks in intertidal areas, especially those of the order Patellogastropoda.
  • noun One that clings persistently.
  • noun A type of explosive designed to cling to the hull of a ship and detonate on contact or signal.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A marine docoglossate gastropod with an open conical shell imperforate at the apex.
  • noun Some mollusk resembling the foregoing, at least in shape of the shell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) In a general sense, any hatshaped, or conical, gastropod shell.
  • noun Any one of many species of marine shellfish of the order Docoglossa, mostly found adhering to rocks, between tides.
  • noun Somthing or someone that clings tenaciously to another object or person
  • noun Any species of Siphonaria, a genus of limpet-shaped Pulmonifera, living between tides, on rocks.
  • noun A keyhole limpet. See Fissurella.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small mollusc, of the family Patellidae with a conical shell found clinging to rocks in the intertidal zones of rocky shores.
  • noun UK Someone dependant; someone disregarding or ignorant of another's personal space.

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

  • noun mollusk with a low conical shell
  • noun any of various usually marine gastropods with low conical shells; found clinging to rocks in littoral areas

Etymologies

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

[Probably Middle English lempet, limpet (sense uncertain); akin to Old English lamprede, lempedu, lamprey (both the limpet and the lamprey being noted for their powerful suckers), from Medieval Latin lamprēda; see lamprey.]

Examples

  • Neal laughed, but he felt that to use Una's hair as a wrap for the red pulp of a crab's back or the soft, black belly of a limpet was a kind of profanation.

    The Northern Iron

  • For instance, a small snail called a limpet that fed on organisms that grew on the grass went extinct.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • For instance, a small snail called a limpet that fed on organisms that grew on the grass went extinct.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • "Imagine the limpet is the antelope of the undersea Serengeti, grazing majestically on algae," he intones, bouncing the shell along.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • He said the landmines would have had to be detonated by smaller adhesive "limpet" mines, triggered by a timing device.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • This dwelling is in shape and appearance like the back shell of a tortoise, or, still more, like a "limpet," being attached to the stem of the tree in the same manner that the latter adheres to a rock.

    Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon

  • The former is headed by someone called Graham Dalton, who, it seems, is a time-serving apparatchik from the DoT, which, as we all know, is headed by that limpet-like nincompoop, Geoff BuffHoon, one of new Labour's 'Jack of All Trades & Master of None'.

    Another Fine Mess

  • The shelves in the Alexander living room are lined with conch and limpet shells, polished stones and cobalt blue glass.

    Blood and ink relations: National Book Festival's Adele and Elizabeth Alexander

  • In February 1965, I went to New Zealand to study two kinds of bioluminescent organisms: the cave worm Arachnocampa and the freshwater limpet Latia.

    Osamu Shimomura - Autobiography

  • The former is headed by someone called Graham Dalton, who, it seems, is a time-serving apparatchik from the DoT, which, as we all know, is headed by that limpet-like nincompoop, Geoff BuffHoon, one of new Labour's 'Jack of All Trades & Master of None'.

    Archive 2009-02-01

Comments

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  • "Better not stick here all night like a limpet. This weather makes you dull."

    Joyce, Ulysses, 13

    January 14, 2007

  • In a thousand books yet to be written, the word 'impeachment' will cling to the name 'Clinton' like a limpet.

    --New York Times, 13 Feb 1999

    November 8, 2007

  • It's funny, because 8 years on, nobody every mentions it, and I can't remember the last time I thought about it.

    November 8, 2007

  • A clingy enzyme sometimes used in cheesemaking to make the final product less stiff. Also can be used as an antidote in cases of inadvertent Viagra overdosing; though it resolves the immediate stiffness crisis, side-effects of excessive clinginess have been noted in certain subjects.

    January 20, 2009