Definition of paua in English:



  • 1A large edible abalone (mollusc).

    • ‘The rocks there abound with crayfish, paua, mussels, kina, maomao and snapper.’
    • ‘My brother and I would walk through the pools at low tide and fish for paua and crayfish.’
    • ‘The pair were in possession of more than three times the recreational daily limit of paua and kina.’
    • ‘Some people go diving and catch crayfish and occasionally paua.’
    • ‘Wild pigs, crayfish and paua were plentiful and used to supplement the food supply.’
    1. 1.1 The shell of the paua, used to make jewellery, ornaments, etc.
      • ‘One strikingly beautiful gown is made of bubble wrap and organza, and another pairs paua shells and feathers.’
      • ‘The shop has a good selection of New Zealand souvenirs at reasonable prices including jade and paua items.’
      • ‘They were made by her brothers and sisters with paua and handmade paper.’
      • ‘The Maori elements are to be found in the bands of symmetrically ordered paua shell inlay, a customary ceremonial and artistic material.’


Mid 19th century: from Maori.