One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A burrowing bivalve mollusk, the shell valves of which have an opening at one or both ends.
Genus Mya, family Myidae
- ‘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.’
2A person who stares in amazement or wonder.
onlooker, passer-by, non-participant, observer, spectator, eyewitness, witness, looker-on, sightseer, watcher, viewerView synonyms
- ‘In the shade of a sycamore grove, bikers sat cross-legged on idled Harleys, heckling the gapers and high-fiving each other.’
- ‘They all try to out beat the other with the best impression of a gaper.’
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