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1. Any of various small marine clams of the genus Donax having variously colored, often striped or banded wedge-shaped shells, and found especially on sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast of the United States.
2. A soft porous limestone, composed essentially of fragments of shells and coral, used as a building material.
[Spanish, cockle, probably diminutive of concha, shell, from Latin, mussel; see conch.]
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.
(Geological Science) a soft limestone consisting of shells, corals, etc, that occurs in parts of the US
[C19: from Spanish: shellfish, probably from concha shell, conch]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., pl. -nas.
1. Also called butterfly shell. a small clam, Donax variabilis, having fanlike bands of various hues and common in intertidal zones of the E and S U.S. coasts: the paired empty shells often spread in a butterfly shape.
2. any similar clam.
3. a soft whitish rock made up of fragments of marine shells and coral, used as a building material.
[1830–40, Amer.; < Sp: literally, shellfish = Old Spanish coc(a) shellfish (< Latin concha; see conch) + -ina -ine3]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
A brittle limestone made of shells and shell fragments.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.