plural conchs ˈkäŋks How to pronounce conch (audio)
or conches ˈkän-chəz How to pronounce conch (audio)
: any of various large spiral-shelled marine gastropod mollusks (as of the genus Strombus)
also : its shell used especially for cameos
often disparaging : a native or resident of the Florida Keys

Illustration of conch

Illustration of conch
  • conch 1

Examples of conch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The conch shells would have come from Florida; masks incorporate copper, which would have been mined in Minnesota. Dallas News, 3 May 2022 Merchán tells us to make a wish before calling out to the solstices and directional winds, blessing families and nations near and far, and ending the ceremony with the mournful wail of a conch shell. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Oct. 2022 Port of Call whimsically attaches a conch shell — a different medium for listening — to a microphone stand and cable. Dallas News, 9 June 2022 Dolphins in Shark Bay have also been seen picking up conch shells with fish inside them. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 18 Nov. 2022 The exhibition includes pendants and ear ornaments of jade and jadeite, trumpets made from conch shells and ornate ceramic vessels decorated with howler monkeys, a turtle and a peccary, a relative of the pig. Peter Saenger, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2022 In the dining room, a patron could order from the menu conventionally, with dishes like conch fritters and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms with ovoli mushroom purée, or order the entire menu divided into tasting portions. Eric Asimov,, 7 Oct. 2022 Amazing white sandy beaches (33 of them) filled with conch shells on an uncrowded island offering fine dining and stunning boutique hotels. Jim Dobson, Forbes, 31 July 2022 The event featured a blast blown on a conch shell, a symbol of the Keys, and speakers recalled those affected by the 2022 hurricanes and expressed gratitude that the Keys were spared major impacts. Arkansas Online, 2 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin concha mussel, mussel shell, from Greek konchē; akin to Sanskrit śaṅkha conch shell

First Known Use

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of conch was in 1707

Dictionary Entries Near conch

Cite this Entry

“Conch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural conchs ˈkäŋks How to pronounce conch (audio) or conches
: a large marine gastropod mollusk having a spiral shell
also : its shell

Medical Definition


plural conchs ˈkäŋks, ˈkȯŋks How to pronounce conch (audio) or conches ˈkän-chəz How to pronounce conch (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on conch

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