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cowrie (n.)

small, glossy shell, used as money from ancient times to 20c. in parts of Asia, 1660s, from Hindi and Urdu kauri, from Mahrati kavadi, from Sanskrit kaparda, which is perhaps related to Tamil kotu "shell."

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Definitions of cowrie

cowrie (n.)
any of numerous tropical marine gastropods of the genus Cypraea having highly polished usually brightly marked shells;
Synonyms: cowry
From wordnet.princeton.edu