One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A burrowing bivalve mollusc, the shell valves of which have an opening at one or both ends.
- ‘Well-known bivalves to which the name gaper could be applied are the razor clam, and the soft-shelled clam; but the latter is something of an exception in that it can survive for some time without water (indeed without oxygen).’
- ‘Areas exhibiting mixed sand and mud constitute a relatively stable substrate in which typical sand-living animals, such as sand gapers, lugworms, and razor shells, dwell.’
- ‘And the prized geoduck - the largest burrowing clam in the world - is occasionally found among the gaper clams in Tomales Bay.’
2another term for comber
- ‘The Washington clam catch is considerably less than that of gaper clams, primarily because the latter are more pre-dominant in most bays, and the Washington clam siphon holes are more difficult to locate.’
3A deep-sea anglerfish that is able to inflate itself with water.
- ‘The amazing diversity of creatures must be seen to be believed; periwinkles, top-shells, starfish and lump suckers, the self-concealing flatfish, the gaper and razor fish and the commuting and breeding seabirds.’
4A person who stares in amazement or wonder.‘her sort of success inevitably attracted gapers’
onlooker, passer-by, non-participant, observer, spectator, eyewitness, witness, looker-on, sightseer, watcher, viewerView synonyms
- ‘They all try to out beat the other with the best impression of a gaper.’
- ‘In the shade of a sycamore grove, bikers sat cross-legged on idled Harleys, heckling the gapers and high-fiving each other.’
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