cowrie

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cow·rie

or cow·ry  (kou′rē)
n. pl. cow·ries
Any of various marine gastropods of the family Cypraeidae of tropical and subtropical seas, having glossy, often colorfully patterned shells, some of which were formerly used as currency in parts of the South Pacific and Africa.

[Hindi kauṛī, from Sanskrit kapardikā, diminutive of kapardaḥ, shell, of Dravidian origin.]

cowrie

(ˈkaʊrɪ) or

cowry

n, pl -ries
1. (Animals) any marine gastropod mollusc of the mostly tropical family Cypraeidae, having a glossy brightly marked shell with an elongated opening
2. (Currencies) the shell of any of these molluscs, esp the shell of Cypraea moneta (money cowry), used as money in parts of Africa and S Asia
[C17: from Hindi kaurī, from Sanskrit kaparda, of Dravidian origin; related to Tamil kōtu shell]

cow•rie

or cow•ry

(ˈkaʊ ri)

n., pl. -ries.
1. any marine gastropod mollusk of the family Cypraeidae, having a glossy oval shell with a slitlike toothed opening.
2. the shell of such a gastropod, sometimes used as currency in Asia and Africa.
[1655–65; < Hindi kaurī]

cow·rie

(kou′rē)
Any of various tropical marine mollusks having glossy, often brightly marked shells that are rounded on one side and relatively flat on the other. The shells have been used as currency in the South Pacific and Africa.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cowrie - any of numerous tropical marine gastropods of the genus Cypraea having highly polished usually brightly marked shellscowrie - any of numerous tropical marine gastropods of the genus Cypraea having highly polished usually brightly marked shells
gastropod, univalve - a class of mollusks typically having a one-piece coiled shell and flattened muscular foot with a head bearing stalked eyes
Cypraea, genus Cypraea - type genus of the family Cypraeidae: the typical cowries
Cypraea moneta, money cowrie - cowrie whose shell is used for money in parts of the southern Pacific and in parts of Africa
Cypraea tigris, tiger cowrie - cowrie whose shell is used for ornament
Translations

cowrie

[ˈkaʊrɪ] Ncauri m

cowrie

, cowry
nKaurischnecke f

cowrie

cowry [ˈkaʊrɪ] nciprea
References in classic literature ?
One day I happened to speak of my disappointment in failing to trade for a beautiful pair of orange cowries.
One night I was out fishing in the lagoon with Oti, the man who had been mulcted of the cowries.
There was no need to worry about food - no need to spend a cowrie at the crowded stalls.
Here, in a little cove, lay a small schooner, the Cowrie, whose decks had but a few days since run red with the blood of her officers and the loyal members of her crew, for the Cowrie had fallen upon bad days when it had shipped such men as Gust and Momulla the Maori and that arch-fiend Kai Shang of Fachan.
The seeds of discontent were, therefore, already planted in the camp of the mutineers of the Cowrie at the north edge of Jungle Island.
The day before they sighted Jungle Island and discovered the little land-locked harbour upon the bosom of which the Cowrie now rode quietly at anchor, the watch had discovered the smoke and funnels of a warship upon the southern horizon.
Kai Shang pointed out that such could not be the case since it was impossible for any human being other than themselves to have knowledge of what had transpired aboard the Cowrie.
He alone could sail the Cowrie, therefore the others could not leave Jungle Island without him; but what was there to prevent Gust, with just sufficient men to man the schooner, slipping away from Kai Shang, Momulla the Maori, and some half of the crew when opportunity presented?
If he could find a man to navigate the Cowrie he would leave us in a minute.
Now, you see, when you fellows were shooting up the Cowrie you did a whole lot of loud talking, and there isn't any doubt but that that warship was a-lyin' off south of us listenin' to it all.
They knew that none of their own men had preceded them, and as all were convinced that the island was uninhabited, they were inclined to flee in terror on the hypothesis that the place was haunted--possibly by the ghosts of the murdered officers and men of the Cowrie.
A garter of white cowrie shells encircled one leg just below the knee.