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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In mussels, the inclusion of DOPA in byssal thread adhesive proteins is thought to be mediated by a tyrosinase (Guerette et al., 2013).
Plaque is that part of the byssal thread which is attached with the foreign surface, whereas the stem is connected with tissues of the organism by means of the root.
These sequences, with many repetitive "G," are different from those of other fibrous or elastic proteins, such as "GGFGGMGGGX" of abduction [12], "GAGAGS," "APGVGV," and "GPGGG" of silk fibroin, elastin, and mussel byssal thread, respectively [23, 24].
Qin and Buehler think the principle of the byssal thread could be used to make surgical sutures that can withstand pulses and irregular liquid flows.
wightii and documented complete inhibition of byssal thread production and attachment of brown mussel P.
To test these hypotheses, we evaluated mussel bed characteristics, byssal thread production, bivalve shell morphology, and shell strength of Mytilus edulis within the Damariscotta River, a 20-km estuary along the central coast of Maine, USA.
trossulus seldom grow large enough to avoid predation by sea stars (Kozloff, 1996), nor do their relatively weak byssal thread attachments (Bell and Gosline, 1997) appear to pose a significant obstacle for P.
For large mussels, maintenance, including byssal thread production to resist dislodgement, seemed to have higher priority than shell growth and condition.
In Mytilus mussels, the proteinaceous byssal thread are used to anchor individuals to hard substrates and the observed changes in mechanical properties could reduce attachment strength.
In mussels, holding force can be increased by changing the effective size of the byssal attachment complex, involving increases in byssal thread number or thickness (Bell and Gosline, 1997).
The proportional length of the proximal region of a byssal thread was different for the two species examined (P < 0.001; Table 3).