conch

[kongk, konch]
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noun, plural conchs [kongks] /kɒŋks/, con·ches [kon-chiz] /ˈkɒn tʃɪz/.
  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 of conch

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin concha < Greek kónchē mussel, shell
Related formsconch·ate [kong-keyt, kon-cheyt] /ˈkɒŋ keɪt, ˈkɒn tʃeɪt/, 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for conch

conch

noun plural conchs (kɒŋks) or 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 (def. 2)

Word Origin for conch

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

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