conch

conchate /kong"kayt, kon"chayt/, conched, adj.
/kongk, konch/, n., pl. conchs /kongks/, conches /kon"chiz/.
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 cap.) Slang (sometimes disparaging).
a. a native or inhabitant of the Florida Keys.
b. a Bahamian.
5. Also, concha. Archit. 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.
[1350-1400; ME < L concha < Gk kónche mussel, shell]

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Marine snail whose shell has a broadly triangular outer whorl and a wide lip, often jutting toward the uppermost point.

True conchs (family Strombidae) feed on fine plant matter in warm waters. The queen conch (Strombus gigas), found from Florida to Brazil, has an ornamental shell; the pink opening into the first whorl of the shell may be 12 in. (30 cm) long. The clam-eating fulgur conchs (family Melongenidae) include the channeled conch (Busycon canaliculatum) and the lightning conch (B. contrarium), both about 7 in. (18 cm) long and common on the U.S. Atlantic coast. See also whelk.

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▪ marine snail
 marine snail of the subclass Prosobranchia (class Gastropoda), in which the outer whorl of the shell is broadly triangular in outline and has a wide lip, often jutting toward the apex. Conch meat is harvested and consumed by people in Caribbean countries. It is exported to the United States, Europe, and South America, and conch shells are coveted by shell collectors. Natural populations have been decimated by overharvesting, and thus there is considerable interest in developing techniques to raise conchs commercially.

      True conchs are those of the family Strombidae; they feed on fine plant matter in warm waters. The queen conch (Strombus gigas), found from Florida to Brazil, has an attractive ornamental shell; the aperture, or opening into the first whorl in the shell, is pink and may be 30 cm (12 inches) long. Spider conchs, with prongs on the lip, belong to the genus Lambis.

      In the family Melongenidae are fulgur conchs (or whelks (whelk)), of the genus Busycon; among these clam eaters are the channeled conch (B. canaliculatum) and the lightning conch (B. contrarium), both about 18 cm long and common on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Another melongenid is the Australian trumpet, or baler (Syrinx aruanus), which may be more than 60 cm long—the largest living snail. It is rivaled by the Florida horse conch (Pleuroploca gigantea), sometimes more than 50 cm long, in the family Fasciolariidae, which includes tulip conchs (Fasciolaria).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Conch — (k[o^][ng]k), n. [L. concha, Gr. ko gchh. See {Coach}, n.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A name applied to various marine univalve shells; esp. to those of the genus {Strombus}, which are of large size. {Strombus gigas} is the large pink West Indian conch. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Conch — bezeichnet: einen Zementhersteller und anbieter in China, siehe Anhui Conch Cement Company ein spezielles Piercing durch die Ohrmuschel, siehe Conch Piercing Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer m …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • conch. — «konch, kongk», noun, plural conch|es «KON chihz», conchs «kongks». 1. a large spiral sea shell. 2. any one of several mollusks of tropical waters with such a shell. 3. the shell which Triton used as a trumpet. 4. Also …   Useful english dictionary

  • conch — käŋk, känch, kȯŋk n, pl conchs käŋks, kȯŋks or conch·es kän chəz CONCHA (1) …   Medical dictionary

  • conch — [ kaŋk, kantʃ ] noun count the large curved shell of an ocean creature that is also called a conch …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • conch- — pref. Variant of concho . * * * …   Universalium

  • conch — [kɔntʃ, kɔŋk US ka:ntʃ, ka:ŋk] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: concha mussel , from Greek konche] the large twisted shell of a tropical sea animal that looks like a ↑snail …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • conch — type of shell, early 15c., from L. concha shellfish, mollusk, from Gk. 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 …   Etymology dictionary

  • conch — ► NOUN (pl. conchs or conches) ▪ a tropical marine mollusc with a spiral shell. ORIGIN Greek konkh mussel, cockle, or shell like cavity …   English terms dictionary

  • conch — [käŋk, känch] n. pl. conchs [käŋks] or conches [kän′chiz] [ME conke < L concha < Gr konchē, mussel, shell < IE base * konkho > Sans śankhá , mussel] 1. a) the large, spiral, univalve shell of any of various marine mollusks b) such a… …   English World dictionary

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