An oyster is an animal that lives in the sea, a rough-shelled mollusk. To find a pearl inside an oyster, you first have to find a "pearl oyster" — a rare cousin of the oysters people commonly eat.

You can usually tell you've found an oyster on the beach because its shell is bumpy and irregular, unlike the smoother clams or mussels you might see. There are few kinds of oysters that are edible (both cooked and raw), and many others that aren't. You may have heard the expression "the word ls your oyster," which is one of Shakespeare's many linguistic inventions; he means the world is yours to seize, open, and use as you wish.

Definitions of oyster
  1. noun
    marine mollusks having a rough irregular shell; found on the sea bed mostly in coastal waters
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    seed oyster
    a young oyster especially of a size for transplantation
    blue point, bluepoint
    small edible oyster typically from the southern shore of Long Island
    Japanese oyster, Ostrea gigas
    a large oyster native to Japan and introduced along the Pacific coast of the United States; a candidate for introduction in Chesapeake Bay
    Virginia oyster
    common edible oyster of Atlantic coast of North America
    Pinctada margaritifera, pearl oyster
    tropical marine bivalve found chiefly off eastern Asia and Pacific coast of North America and Central America; a major source of pearls
    Anomia ephippium, saddle oyster
    thin-shelled bivalve having the right valve deeply notched
    Placuna placenta, capiz, window oyster, windowpane oyster
    marine bivalve common in Philippine coastal waters characterized by a large thin flat translucent shell
    type of:
    bivalve, lamellibranch, pelecypod
    marine or freshwater mollusks having a soft body with platelike gills enclosed within two shells hinged together
  2. noun
    edible body of any of numerous oysters
    synonyms: huitre
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    oysters Rockefeller
    oysters spread with butter and spinach and seasonings and baked on the half shell
    blue point, bluepoint
    oysters originally from Long Island Sound but now from anywhere along the northeastern seacoast; usually eaten raw
    type of:
    meat of edible aquatic invertebrate with a shell (especially a mollusk or crustacean)
  3. verb
    gather oysters, dig oysters
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    type of:
    collect, garner, gather, pull together
    assemble or get together
  4. noun
    a small muscle on each side of the back of a fowl
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    type of:
    helping, portion, serving
    an individual quantity of food or drink taken as part of a meal
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