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cowrie

[kou-ree] /ˈkaʊ ri/
noun
1.
the highly polished, usually brightly colored shell of a marine gastropod of the genus Cypraea, as that of C. moneta (money cowrie) used as money in certain parts of Asia and Africa, or that of C. tigris, used for ornament.
2.
the gastropod itself.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65; < Hindi kaurī
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cowrie
  • Gastropods may also be included in the diet as evidenced by the use of cowrie shell octopus lures by fishermen.
British Dictionary definitions for cowrie

cowrie

/ˈkaʊrɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
any marine gastropod mollusc of the mostly tropical family Cypraeidae, having a glossy brightly marked shell with an elongated opening
2.
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
Word Origin
C17: from Hindi kaurī, from Sanskrit kaparda, of Dravidian origin; related to Tamil kōtu shell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cowrie
n.

small shell, used as money in parts of Asia, 1660s, from Hindi and Urdu kauri, from Mahrati kavadi, from Sanskrit kaparda, perhaps related to Tamil kotu "shell."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
12
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