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[koh-kee-nuh] /koʊˈki nə/
Also called pompano, butterfly-shell clam. a small clam, Donax variabilis, abundant in the intertidal zone of eastern and southern U.S. coastal beaches, having fanlike bands of various hues, the paired empty shells often spread in a butterfly shape.
any similar clam, especially of the genus Donax.
a soft, whitish rock made up of fragments of marine shells and coral, used as a building material.
Origin of coquina
1830-40, Americanism; < Spanish: literally, shellfish, equivalent to Old Spanish coc(a) shellfish (< Latin concha; see conch) + -ina -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for coquina
Historical Examples
  • There was no second block of coquina; Walter remained standing.

    Horace Chase Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • Presently he walked to the edge of the coquina quarry and looked down into it.

    Quick Action Robert W. Chambers
  • I was down to the coquina country, a-doin'—well, I was doin' rubes.

    Police!!! Robert W. Chambers
  • He laughed, too: "You'll pay 'em if you take my map an' go to the coquina hills," he said.

    Police!!! Robert W. Chambers
  • The walls are built of coquina of no modern thickness, but as if designed to resist a siege.

  • The Presbyterian church is a good, old-fashioned, well-preserved specimen of coquina walls.

  • Houses in St. Augustine are built of coquina rock, which is simply a mass of broken shells held together by a lime cement.

  • Perhaps because the girl by the coquina wall was young, slim, golden haired, and Greek.

    Quick Action Robert W. Chambers
  • The fort and bastions are built of the same material as the houses of the town, coquina.

    The Spaniards in Florida George R. Fairbanks
  • Even the imported ones had much to learn about coquina, the natural shellrock peculiar to this section of Florida.

British Dictionary definitions for coquina


a soft limestone consisting of shells, corals, etc, that occurs in parts of the US
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish: shellfish, probably from concha shell, conch
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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coquina in Science
A soft porous limestone, composed of shells and fragments of shell and coral that are partially cemented by material that is high in calcium carbonate and has not completely hardened.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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