Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to clamshell: clamshell thoracotomy


1. The shell of a clam.
2. Any of various devices that consist of two parts attached by a hinge and that open and close like a clamshell, especially a digging or dredging machine with a bucket that has hinged jaws or a handheld electronic device.
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.


1. (Mechanical Engineering) chiefly US a dredging bucket that is hinged like the shell of a clam
2. (Aeronautics) aeronautics
a. an aircraft cockpit canopy hinged at the front and rear
b. the hinged door of a cargo aircraft
c. another name for eyelid2
3. any of a variety of objects hinged like the shell of a clam, such as a container for takeaway food, a portable computer, etc
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. the shell of a clam.
a. Also called clam′shell buck`et. a dredging bucket opening at the bottom, consisting of two similar pieces hinged together at the top.
b. a machine equipped with such a bucket.
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.clamshell - the shell of a clamclamshell - the shell of a clam      
shell - the hard largely calcareous covering of a mollusc or a brachiopod
2.clamshell - a dredging bucket with hinges like the shell of a clam
dredging bucket - a bucket for lifting material from a channel or riverbed
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
At the end of a swift half-mile she rounded to, with head-sails trimming down and with a great flapping of main and mizzen, and dropped anchor in fifty feet of water so clear that every huge fluted clamshell was visible on the coral floor.
Prim, right-angled paths neatly bordered with clamshells, intersected it like moist red ribbons and in the beds between old-fashioned flowers ran riot.
Beginning at the pile of clamshells, he lighted matches to trace my tracks in the sand.
This socket utilizes a clamshell lid with an integrated compression mechanism.
[USPRwire, Tue Dec 11 2018] A new report titled " Global Clamshell Packaging Market Precise Study on Factors, Market Drivers and Key Players Strategies Analyzed Till 2028 " has been included in the enormous research repository of Market Research Reports Search Engine (MRRSE) that compiles various facets of the Clamshell Packaging Market at a global level portraying a holistic analysis of the marketplace along with intelligence on key participants.
[ClickPress, Mon Oct 01 2018] Future Market Insights (FMI) delivers key insights on the global clamshell market in its published report, titled "Global Clamshell Packaging Market: Industry Analysis 2013-2017 and Opportunity Assessment 2018--2028".
SILVERGATE Plastics has installed a new twin screw, clamshell design extrusion line at its masterbatch manufacturing facility in Wrexham.
Nicknamed the "Mustang" by the company for its tenacity, adaptability, intelligence and spirit, the turnkey system from Schubert-Pharma provides a high-level communication system that integrates barcode scanners and cameras that check data on various product labels to ensure they are correct before loading them into clamshell trays.