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.
Genus Mya, family Myidae
- ‘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.’
- ‘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).’
- ‘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.
Family Chaunacidae and genus Chaunax
- ‘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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