EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN noun 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. the gastropod itself. Origin of cowrie
First recorded in
1655–65, cowrie is from the Hindi word kaurī
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for cowrie Historical Examples of cowrie
It was covered with red velvet and decorated with
He wore a broad belt decorated with
cowrie shells and beads.
I know almost every island where trade can be got, and the price to a
cowrie that should be paid.
There was no need to worry about food—no need to spend a
cowrie at the crowded stalls.
They were so laden with savage riches as to be almost concealed beneath the strings of
cowrie shells and bands of beads. British Dictionary definitions for cowrie noun plural -ries any marine gastropod mollusc of the mostly tropical family Cypraeidae, having a glossy brightly marked shell with an elongated opening 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 for cowrie
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
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