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A marine bivalve mollusc with shells of equal size, taken as the type of something which silently withdraws into itself from contact with another. The name is recorded from the early 16th century and apparently comes from earlier clam ‘a clamp’, from Old English clam, clamm ‘a bond or bondage’.

happy as a clam at high tide in North American usage, very happy.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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