Oys"ter(ois"tr), n. [OF. oistre, F. hutre, L. ostrea, ostreum, Gr. 'o`streon; prob. akin to 'ostre`on bone, the oyster being so named from its shell. Cf. Osseous, Ostracize.] 1. (Zol.) Any marine bivalve mollusk of the genus Ostrea. They are usually found adhering to rocks or other fixed objects in shallow water along the seacoasts, or in brackish water in the mouth of rivers. The common European oyster (Ostrea edulis), and the American oyster (Ostrea Virginiana), are the most important species.
2. A name popularly given to the delicate morsel contained in a small cavity of the bone on each side of the lower part of the back of a fowl.
(Zol.), any species of the genus Etheria, and allied genera, found in rivers of Africa and South America. They are irregular in form, and attach themselves to rocks like oysters, but they have a pearly interior, and are allied to the fresh-water mussels. --
Oyster bed, a breeding place for oysters; a place in a tidal river or other water on or near the seashore, where oysters are deposited to grow and fatten for market. See 1st Scalp,
(Zol.), See oystercatcher in the vocabulary. --
(Zol.) a small crab (Pinnotheres ostreum) which lives as a commensal in the gill cavity of the oyster. --
Oyster dredge, a rake or small dragnet for bringing up oysters from the bottom of the sea. --
(Zol.) (a) The tautog. (b) The toadfish. --
(Bot.) (a) A plant of the genus Tragopogon (Tragopogon porrifolius), the root of which, when cooked, somewhat resembles the oyster in taste; salsify; -- called also
vegetable oyster. (b) A plant found on the seacoast of Northern Europe, America and Asia (Mertensia maritima), the fresh leaves of which have a strong flavor of oysters. --
(Zol.) Same as oystercatcher. --
(Zol.), the shell of an oyster. --
Oyster women, a women who deals in oysters. --
(Zol.) See under Pearl. --
(Zol.), any spiny marine shell of the genus Spondylus.
oyster catchern. (Zol.), Any one of several species of wading birds of the genus Hmatopus having stout legs and bill and mostly black-and-white plumage, which frequent seashores and feed upon oysters and other shellfish. The European species (Hmatopus ostralegus), the common American species (Hmatopus palliatus), and the California, or black, oyster catcher (Hmatopus Bachmani) are the best known.
Syn. -- oyster plover.
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Mon 24th February 2020