Definition of cowrie in English:

cowrie

Syllabification: cow·rie
Pronunciation: /ˈkourē
 
/
(also cowry)

noun (plural cowries)

1A marine mollusk that has a smooth, glossy, domed shell with a long narrow opening, typically brightly patterned and popular with collectors.
  • Genus Cypraea, family Cypraeidae, class Gastropoda: numerous species, including the small money cowrie (C. moneta)
More example sentences
  • We found tiny cowries on the soft corals and red spider crabs on the fans.
  • These include Vasum, some photine buccinids, and some cypraeid cowries.
  • Here butterfish can be seen feeding on mussels, and cowries are also in evidence.
1.1The flattened yellowish shell of the money cowrie, formerly used as money in parts of Africa and the Indo-Pacific area.
More example sentences
  • Jabali said, ‘I don't have a single cowrie - and even if I had I wouldn't give it.‘
  • The article explains how cowries were exchanged for slaves and how East African gold entered Indian Ocean circuits.
  • Almost all of the RAC's cowries went to the Slave Coast, with few arriving at any other destination.

Origin

mid 17th century: from Hindi kauṛī.

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Word of the day punctum
Pronunciation: ˈpʌŋ(k)təm
noun
a small, distinct point