Definition of akoya in US English:


(also akoja, akoia)


  • Any of several small marine oysters of the genus Pinctada, especially P. fucata, cultivated in Japan, China, and elsewhere for the production of cultured pearl. Also: a pearl so produced, typically round, white, and lustrous. Usually attributive as "Akoya oyster", "pearl", etc.


Early 18th century; earliest use found in John Scheuchzer (1702–1729), physician and naturalist. From German Akoja and (in later use) its etymon Japanese akoya, short for akoya-dama akoya pearl from Akoya, the former name of Honda, a coastal town in the Aichi prefecture, Japan (known for the abundance in pearl oysters in its bay) + -dama, combining form of tama ball, gem, bead.