Definition of tooth shell in US English:

tooth shell

noun

  • A burrowing mollusk with a slender tusk-shaped shell, which is open at both ends and typically white, and a three-lobed foot.

    Class Scaphopoda, in particular the genus Dentalium

    Also called tusk shell
    • ‘The tusk or tooth shells, as they are more commonly known, have the simplest shell structure and anatomy of all the molluscs.’
    • ‘Scaphopods are burrowing animals that are also called tusk or tooth shells.’
    • ‘They are also known as tooth shells and resemble an elephant's tusks.’
    • ‘Wampum, used in North America, was usually fashioned from thick-shelled clams; dentalia, or tooth shells, were popular with the coastal Native Americans of W North America.’
    • ‘Amphineura, containing the chitons, and Scaphopoda, represented by the elephant tooth shell, are two classes of less popular interest.’
    • ‘Even I, who entered not knowing an egg cockle from a dosinia, came out savvy of tooth shells and lightning whelks.’

Pronunciation

tooth shell

/ˈto͞oTH ˌSHel/