Definition of conch in English:

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Pronunciation: /kɒŋk/
Pronunciation: /kɒn(t)ʃ/

noun (plural conchs /kɒŋks/ or conches /ˈkɒntʃɪz/)

1 (also conch shell) A tropical marine mollusc with a robust spiral shell which may bear long projections and have a flared lip.
  • Strombus and other genera, family Strombidae, class Gastropoda.
Example sentences
  • Raup analyzed different types of mollusk conchs in terms of their geometrical properties.
  • Earlier this month, additional protection was given under this convention to the queen conch mollusk, a popular food item famous for its enormous pink shell.
  • Seilacher has shown such a function for orthocone cephalopod conchs in the same formation.
1.1A conch shell blown like a trumpet to produce a hollow-sounding musical note, often depicted as played by Tritons.
Example sentences
  • I withdrew my conch, a gorgeous Triton's Trumpet, and blew into it from deep in my belly as hard as I could, just as Ralph had done to summon his fellow castaways.
  • Trumpets, conches, oboes and drums beat out a rhythm while a huge contingent of Kandyan dancers and drummers perform, their stunning period costumes adding a blaze of colour to the spectacle.
  • I'm jolted awake the next morning by the trumpeting of a conch shell.
2 Architecture The roof of a semicircular apse, shaped like half a dome.
Example sentences
  • This era produced hulking concrete edifices built in the form of conch shells, rocket ships, sail boats, origami figures, and circus tents.
  • The main walls of the interior are mostly built of hewn stone, the apse stones are better and the conch stones are very well-hewn.
  • This example of classic tetra conch design with all its miniature size, strikes the viewers with its grandeur and integrity.
3 another term for concha.
Example sentences
  • Inner conch piercing looks very similar to lobe piercing, but it is placed on the inner conch and surrounds the lower outer helix.
  • Thus the backward expanding marginal folds of the septa provide circumferential anchorage sites that firmly hold the body to the buoyant conch in addition to the few, small adductor muscles.
  • Furthermore, the conch of the specimen is more compressed and the umbilicus smaller in diameter than those of the genus Properrinites Elias, 1938.


Late Middle English: from Latin concha 'shellfish, shell', from Greek konkhē 'mussel, cockle, or shell-like cavity'.

  • conker from mid 18th century:

    Children originally played conkers not with horse chestnuts but with snail shells. The word conker is first recorded in the 1840s as a dialect word for a snail shell, and may have originally come from conch (Middle English), a kind of mollusc, which is probably also the origin of conk (early 19th century), meaning ‘the nose’. On the other hand, conker could be related to conquer (ME, from Latin conquirere ‘gain, win’), which was how conker was often spelled. Indeed, an alternative name for the game at one time was conquerors. Horse chestnuts seem to have replaced snail shells late in the 19th century.

Words that rhyme with conch

carte blanche

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: conch

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