Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
noun pl. cowries
- any of a number of gastropods (family Cypraeidae) having brightly colored, glossy shells and found in warm seas
- the shell of any of these mollusks, esp. the shell of the (Cypraea moneta), formerly used as currency in parts of Africa and S Asia
Origin: Hindi kauṛī ; from Sanskrit kaparda
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
or cow·ry noun pl. cow·ries
Any of various tropical marine gastropods of the family Cypraeidae, having glossy, often brightly marked shells, some of which are used as currency in the South Pacific and Africa.
Origin: Hindi kauṛī, from Sanskrit kapardikā, diminutive of kapardaḥ, shell, of Dravidian origin.