Dentalium

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Dentalium (Zoöl) A genus of marine mollusks belonging to the Scaphopoda, having a tubular conical shell.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n dentalium The typical and leading genus of the family Dentaliidæ. Different limits have been assigned to it. By the older conchologists it was used for all the Dentaliidæ, or forms with tusk-like shells; but more recently it has been restricted to Dentaliidæ with the posterior end of the tusk-like shell furnished with an internal slightly projecting tube provided with a dorsoventrally elongated opening.
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. L. dens, dentis, tooth

Usage

In literature:

They were not tattooed, but ears and noses were encumbered with pendants of dentalium and a small red glass bead.
"Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared With That Among Other Peoples And Deaf-Mutes" by Garrick Mallery
Long earrings, each made from about 120 dentalium shells.
"American Antiquities" by Wm. B. Norman
Incised Designs on Dentalium Shells 126 118.
"The Archaeology of the Yakima Valley" by Harlan Ingersoll Smith
***