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conch

[kongk, konch] /kɒŋk, kɒntʃ/
noun, plural conchs
[kongks] /kɒŋks/ (Show IPA),
conches
[kon-chiz] /ˈkɒn tʃɪz/ (Show IPA)
1.
the spiral shell of a gastropod, often used as a horn.
2.
any of various marine gastropods.
3.
the fabled shell trumpet of the Tritons.
4.
(often initial capital letter) Slang: Sometimes Disparaging.
  1. a term used to refer to a native or inhabitant of the Florida Keys.
  2. a term used to refer to a Bahamian.
5.
Also, concha. Architecture. a smooth concave surface consisting of or resembling the interior of a semidome, as the surface of a vault, a trompe, or the head of a niche.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin concha < Greek kónchē mussel, shell
Related forms
conchate
[kong-keyt, kon-cheyt] /ˈkɒŋ keɪt, ˈkɒn tʃeɪt/ (Show IPA),
conched, adjective
Usage note
Conch is usually a neutral nickname or term of self-reference for any person living in the Florida Keys or the Bahamas, where conch (the flesh of the gastropod) is a popular food. However, the nickname conch is sometimes used with disparaging intent when specifically referring to a person of Bahamian ancestry living in the Florida Keys. And Loyalists who fled to the Bahamas during the Revolutionary War used the nickname conch to refer disparagingly to a native or early settler of the Bahamas.

conch-

1.
variant of concho- before a vowel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for conch
  • Close by are a diamond-encrusted conch shell and discus, his traditional accessories.
  • The corners of the burial pit are marked with large conch shells.
  • The road is lined with stalls selling food, including stews made from the flesh of the conch after which the village is named.
  • They made instruments of anything that came to hand: conch-shells, wooden boxes, metal cups.
  • The ears, translucent in the low rays of the morning sun, look as if someone had systematically and neatly flattened conch shells.
  • For creatures desiring to eat the conch, that is a formidable fortress to breach.
  • The conch fritters and seafood chowder are menu favorites.
  • The laid-back island atmosphere mixes with island architecture such as gingerbread mansions and conch houses with tin roofs.
  • Starters include coconut shrimp, conch fritters, prime rib-stuffed mushrooms and fried green tomatoes.
  • There's a three-level pool and a restaurant with local seafood specialties that feature lobster, stone crabs and conch.
British Dictionary definitions for conch

conch

/kɒŋk; kɒntʃ/
noun (pl) conchs (kɒŋks), conches (ˈkɒntʃɪz)
1.
any of various tropical marine gastropod molluscs of the genus Strombus and related genera, esp S. gigas (giant conch), characterized by a large brightly coloured spiral shell
2.
the shell of such a mollusc, used as a trumpet
3.
(architect) another name for concha (sense 2)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin concha, from Greek konkhē shellfish
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 conch
n.

type of shell, early 15c., from Latin concha "shellfish, mollusk," from Greek konkhe "mussel, shell," from PIE root *konkho-. The name for natives of Florida Keys since at least 1833; the prefered pronunciation there ("kongk") preserves the classical one.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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