Definition of cowrie
: any of various marine gastropods (family Cypraeidae) that are widely distributed in warm seas and have glossy and often brightly colored shells; also : the shell of a cowrie
Recent Examples of cowrie from the Web
The ancient Chinese were among those who used cowrie shells, which were prized for their beauty as materials for jewelry, to make payments.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cowrie'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of cowrie
Hindi & Urdu kauṛī
First Known Use: 1662See Words from the same year
COWRIE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cowrie for English Language Learners
: a small snail that is found in warm seas
: the shiny and often brightly colored shell of the cowrie
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up cowrie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).