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definitions - Clam

clam (n.)

1.burrowing marine mollusk living on sand or mud; the shell closes with viselike firmness

2.flesh of either hard-shell or soft-shell clams

3.a piece of paper money worth one dollar

clam (v.)

1.gather clams, by digging in the sand by the ocean

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Merriam Webster

ClamClam (klăm), n. [Cf. Clamp, Clam, v. t., Clammy.]
1. (Zoöl.) A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; as, the long clam (Mya arenaria), the quahog or round clam (Venus mercenaria), the sea clam or hen clam (Spisula solidissima), and other species of the United States. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.

You shall scarce find any bay or shallow shore, or cove of sand, where you may not take many clampes, or lobsters, or both, at your pleasure. Capt. John Smith (1616).

Clams, or clamps, is a shellfish not much unlike a cockle; it lieth under the sand. Wood (1634).

2. (Ship Carp.) Strong pinchers or forceps.

3. pl. (Mech.) A kind of vise, usually of wood.

Blood clam. See under Blood.

ClamClam (clăm), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Clammed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Clamming.] [Cf. AS. clæman to clam, smear; akin to Icel. kleima to smear, OHG. kleimjan, chleimen, to defile, or E. clammy.] To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.

A swarm of wasps got into a honey pot, and there they cloyed and clammed Themselves till there was no getting out again. L'Estrange.

ClamClam, v. i. To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere. [R.] Dryden

ClamClam, n. Claminess; moisture. [R.] “The clam of death.” Carlyle.

ClamClam, n. [Abbrev. fr. clamor.] A crash or clangor made by ringing all the bells of a chime at once. Nares.

ClamClam, v. t. & i. To produce, in bell ringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang. Nares.

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Clam


-Amethyst gem clam • Ark clam • Asian clam • Asiatic clam • Atlantic jackknife clam • Atlantic surf clam • Bear paw clam • Boring clam • Burg Clam • California Clam Chowder • China clam • Clam (disambiguation) • Clam Abuse • Clam AntiVirus • Clam Bay, Nova Scotia • Clam Beach, California • Clam Falls, Wisconsin • Clam Gulch • Clam Gulch, Alaska • Clam Harbour, Nova Scotia • Clam Lake • Clam Lake Township, Michigan • Clam Lake, Wisconsin • Clam Nanny • Clam Point Historic District • Clam Point, Nova Scotia • Clam Pond • Clam River • Clam Union Township, Michigan • Clam Win • Clam broth • Clam cake • Clam chowder • Clam digging • Clam dip • Clam liquor • Clam sauce • Clam shrimp • Clam strips • Clam, Charente-Maritime • Clam, Virginia • Common clam worm • Crocus clam • Do the Clam • Giant clam • Graceful clam shrimp • Hard clam • Heinrich Clam-Martinic • Horse clam • Horse's hoof clam • Jackknife clam • Jean Clam • Littleneck clam • Mahogany clam • Manhattan clam chowder • Maxima clam • Ming (clam) • Nec vi, nec clam, nec precario • New England Clam Chowder • New England clam bake • One If by Clam, Two If by Sea • Pacific razor clam • Providence Clam Diggers • Razor clam • Saffron-coloured clam • Shen (clam-monster) • Smooth clam • Soft-shell clam • Southern giant clam • Strawberry clam • Stuffed clam • Surf clam • Tevoro clam • The Fight Between the Snipe and the Clam • Trinidad to Clam Beach Run • Umberto's Clam House • Yarmouth Clam Festival

analogical dictionary



Edible clams in the family Veneridae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia

In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs. The word can also be used in a more limited sense, to mean bivalves that burrow in sediment, as opposed to ones that attach themselves to the substrate (for example oysters and mussels), or ones that can swim and are migratory, like scallops. In addition "clam" can be used in an even more limited sense, to mean one or more species of commonly consumed marine bivalves, as in the phrase clam chowder, meaning shellfish soup usually made using the hard clam. Many edible bivalves have a roughly oval shape; however, the edible Pacific razor clam has an elongated, parallel-sided shell, whose shape suggests that of an old-fashioned straight razor.

In the United Kingdom, "clam" is one of the common names of various species of marine bivalve mollusc,[1] but it is not used as a general term to cover edible clams that burrow, and it is not used as a general term for all bivalves.

Numerous edible marine bivalve species live buried in sand or mud, and respire by means of siphons, which reach to the surface. In the United States, these clams are collected by "digging for clams" or clam digging.

In October 2007 an Arctica islandica clam, caught off the coast of Iceland, was discovered to be at least 405 years old, and was declared the world's oldest living animal by researchers from Bangor University, see Ming (clam).

In regard to the concept of edible clams, most species of bivalves are at least potentially edible. However some are too small to be useful, and not all species are considered palatable.

The word "clam" has given rise to the metaphor "clam up", meaning to refuse to talk or answer, based on the clam behavior of quickly closing its shell when threatened.[2] A "clamshell" is the name given to a container consisting of two hinged halves that lock together. Clams have also inspired the phrase "happy as a clam", short for "happy as a clam at high tide" (which should be happy because it cannot easily be dug up and eaten).[3]



  Littleneck clams, small hard clams, species Mercenaria mercenaria

A clam's shell consists of two (usually equal) halves, which are connected by a hinge joint and a ligament which can be external or internal.

In clams, two adductor muscles contract to close the shells. The clam has no head, and usually has no eyes (scallops are a notable exception), but a clam does have kidneys, a heart, a mouth and an anus. For more information see bivalve and pseudofeces.

Clams, like most molluscs, also have open circulatory systems, which means that their organs are surrounded by watery blood that contains nutrients and oxygen.

Clams feed on plankton by filter feeding. Clams filter feed by drawing in water containing food using an incurrent siphon. The food is then filtered out of the water by the gills and swept toward the mouth on a layer of mucus. The water is then expelled from the animal by an excurrent siphon.

  Human uses

  As food items

Sandiego 11 bg 010706.jpg

  In North America

In culinary use, within the eastern coast of the United States, the term "clam" most often refers to the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria. It may also refer to a few other common edible species, such as the soft-shell clam, Mya arenaria, and the ocean quahog, Arctica islandica. Another species which is commercially exploited on the Atlantic Coast of the United States is the surf clam Spisula solidissima.

Clams can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked or fried; the method of preparation depends partly on the size and species of the clam. They can also be made into clam chowder (a popular soup in the U.S. and Canada) or they can be cooked using hot rocks and seaweed in a New England clam bake.

  In Italy

In Italy, clams are often an ingredient of mixed seafood dishes, or are eaten together with pasta. The more commonly used varieties of clams in Italian cooking are the Vongola (Venerupis decussata), the Cozza (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and the Tellina (Donax trunculus). A variety of mussel called Dattero di mare (Lithophaga lithophaga) was also once widely popular as seafood. However, since overfishing drove it to the verge of extinction (it takes 15 to 35 years to reach adult size and could only be harvested by smashing the calcarean rocks that form its habitat), it has been declared an endangered species by the Italian government since 1998, and its harvest and sale are forbidden. "Clam" is also a popular term of endearment amongst Italian young people.

  In India

In the south western coast of India, also known as the Konkan region, Clams are used to cook curries and side dishes, like Tisaryachi Ekshipi, which is clams with one shell on. In Kerala, clams (known as Erunthu or Kakka) are widely consumed, especially in curry form. The whole clams are prepared in a green coconut masala, and are usually eaten with rice. Clams are eaten more in the coastal regions of India, especially in the Konkan, Kerala, Bengal, and Karnataka regions.

  In aquaria

The Maxima clam Tridacna maxima, a species of giant clam, is a popular species with saltwater aquarium hobbyists.

  In a religious context

The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped the sea and its animals. They often depicted clams in their art.[4]

In Jewish tradition all Mollusca are considered non-kosher and as such are strictly avoided by observant Jews.

  As currency

Some species of clams, particularly Mercenaria mercenaria, were in the past used by the Algonquians of Eastern North America to manufacture wampum, a type of shell money.[citation needed]

  As buttons

  Shell from which buttons have been punched.

Buttons for fastening clothes have been made from clam shells. For example, clams were harvested for button factories in the Mississippi River valley from 1889 into the 1930s, ending when the clam beds were depleted.[5]

  Some examples of clams

  One of the world's largest clam fossils (187 cm), a Sphenoceramus steenstrupi specimen from Greenland in the Geological Museum in Copenhagen


Not usually considered edible:

  See also


  External links



All translations of Clam

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