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Meaning of mother-of-pearl

moth•er-of-pearl

Pronunciation: (mu'ur-uv-pûrl'), [key]
— n.
  1. a hard, iridescent substance that forms the inner layer of certain mollusk shells, used for making buttons, beads, etc.; nacre.
—adj.
  1. of or having the qualities of mother-of-pearl, as being iridescent or pearly: mother-of-pearl buttons.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.