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n. pl. bys·sus·es or bys·si (bĭs′ī′)
1. Zoology A mass of strong, silky filaments by which certain bivalve mollusks, such as mussels, attach themselves to rocks and other fixed surfaces.
2. A fine-textured linen of ancient times, used by the Egyptians for wrapping mummies.

[Middle English bissus, linen cloth, from Latin, from Greek bussos, linen; akin to Sanskrit picuḥ, cotton (of Dravidian origin), or ultimately from Egyptian w'ḏ, linen.]

bys′sal (bĭs′əl) adj.


n, pl byssuses or byssi (ˈbɪsaɪ)
(Zoology) a mass of strong threads secreted by a sea mussel or similar mollusc that attaches the animal to a hard fixed surface
[C17: from Latin, from Greek bussos linen, flax, ultimately of Egyptian origin]


(ˈbɪs əs)

n., pl. bys•sus•es, bys•si (ˈbɪs aɪ)
1. a collection of silky filaments by which certain mollusks attach themselves to rocks.
2. an ancient cloth, thought to be of linen, cotton, or silk.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek býssos a fine cotton or linen < Semitic]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.byssus - tuft of strong filaments by which e.g. a mussel makes itself fast to a fixed surfacebyssus - tuft of strong filaments by which e.g. a mussel makes itself fast to a fixed surface
fiber, fibre - a slender and greatly elongated substance capable of being spun into yarn
References in classic literature ?
He did not carry away more than ten at each plunge, for he was obliged to pull them from the bank to which they adhered by means of their strong byssus.
The proceedings, comprising 17 papers, discuss such topics as byssus and sea silk: a linguistic problem with consequences, dyeing wool and sea silk with purple pigment from Hexaplex trunculus, sacred colors, purple textiles in Greek sanctuaries in the second half of the first millennium BC, purple wars: fishing rights and political conflicts concerning the production of marine dyes in Hellenistic Greece, and Purpurarii in the western Mediterranean.
Immunocytochemical demonstration of neurotransmitters in the nerve plexuses of the foot and the anterior byssus retractor muscle of the mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis.
Most of the forms are completely sedentary remaining attached to hard substrata by thread-like byssus of the foot or by one of their shell valves.
Bivalves fixed by byssus or those cemented by shells prefer such offshore biotope.
This is especially comm on in juvenile sea stars, who orient their body against the side of the mussel shell, insert their stomach into the small gap between the valves where the byssus and foot emerge, and consume the entire mussel without detaching it from the substrate (R.
It refers possibly to a garment of sea silk, spun from byssus, the filament that the pinna nobilis mollusk uses to attach itself to the seabed.
However, in the Beagle Channel mussel populations, a metacercaria parasitizing the foot and byssus gland was found, which was absent in the specimens here studied; conversely, turbellarians and copepods were absent in the Beagle Channel population (Cremonte et al.
It also found that the byssus or external filaments of P.
Majlis, Brigitte Khan and Anne Sicken 2014 Showing a bit of mussel: An unfamiliar and intriguing type of shiny gold coloured thread discovered in certain Iban Dayak textiles turns out to be shellfish-derived byssus fibre.
Yet even those who can't be bothered to look up "byssal" (relating to the byssus, or silky filaments with which bivalves and mollusks cling to rocks) or "stour" (strong or powerful) cannot miss the poem's thick consonance, its glut of sibilants--byssal, mussels, scapular, cruxes, bassinet, clamshell, saddlebags--that bind these images together for eight rapid-fire lines before the softer Latinates of "mantle," "vulnerable," and "indomitable" emerge to clear the air and let in some light.
Treatment filter paper was placed in the upper face (squared) and control in the lower face (entire) to offer the same area of treatment and control for byssus fixation.