Definition of conch in US English:



  • 1A tropical marine mollusk with a spiral shell that may bear long projections and have a flared lip.

    Strombus and other genera, family Strombidae, class Gastropoda

    • ‘Earlier this month, additional protection was given under this convention to the queen conch mollusk, a popular food item famous for its enormous pink shell.’
    • ‘Compared with the hugely elongate shell, the living chamber and the animal were relatively tiny, but the conch had perfect hydrostatic balance, and was essentially weightless as far as floatation went.’
    • ‘‘And the best bait for conch was horseshoe crab,’ Niles, the New Jersey biologist, said.’
    • ‘At American Fine Arts, the Rapid logo, a five-color spiral based on a conch shell, graced a Plexiglas and vinyl sculpture of a gas pump emitting a fluorescent glow.’
    • ‘Wrapping around them like spirals on a conch shell, everyone who had Power left formed themselves into a chain, one hand being placed on another's shoulder.’
    • ‘Try the peppered scallops, shrimp, conch and ‘whole fish dishes in Hong Kong style.’’
    • ‘Seilacher has shown such a function for orthocone cephalopod conchs in the same formation.’
    • ‘The surface of the conch seems to possess a layer of intensively weathered shell, and no feature that could be reasonably interpreted as growth lines is present.’
    • ‘Shiva was depicted as a Himalayan ascetic, Vishnu as a blue youth holding in his four hands a discus, mace, conch, and lotus.’
    • ‘Her other hand points at a painting within the painting of a mermaid sounding a conch shell, indicating her affinity with the legless, mythological creature.’
    • ‘These are strong arguments for an adaptive origin of coiling in the cephalopod conch.’
    • ‘Raup analyzed different types of mollusk conchs in terms of their geometrical properties.’
    • ‘Then she anchored herself to the bed, one foot locked over the edge, the other thrust between their two mattresses and wrapped the sheet around them like the spirals of a conch shell.’
    • ‘All were available in plain or patinated brass or copper, and they included a variety of shells, such as Philippine, chiton, limpet, melon, triton, sea conch, and nautilus.’
    • ‘The operculum illustrated by Reed does not match in outline the conch, and is here considered to be a different taxon.’
    • ‘The elf clutched the small conch shell in one hand and whispered a thank you to her friend.’
    • ‘If available, the dimension of the adult conch, the ornamentation of shell, and the position of the siphuncle of coiled nautiloids were compiled from the literature.’
    • ‘In addition, the apertural region of the conch is depicted as flaring outward, but any such flaring on the specimen itself is subtle at best.’
    • ‘I wonder if they can do anything to control the poachers though, as the conch is a marine dweller.’
    • ‘The conch shell in Botticelli's picture, always traditionally associated with Venus, comes from such a creature, one which respires by means of a copper-process.’
    1. 1.1 A conch shell blown like a trumpet to produce a musical note, often depicted as played by Tritons and other mythological figures.
      • ‘Revellers began arriving hours before the games with drums, conch horns and trumpets in hand to make this the best party in town.’
      • ‘I withdrew my conch, a gorgeous Triton's Trumpet, and blew into it from deep in my belly as hard as I could, just as Ralph had done to summon his fellow castaways.’
      • ‘Women from the Fiji Islands will launch their March activities by playing drums and conch shells (huge seashells) and dancing;’
      • ‘Mizhavu and Edakka and conch (musical instruments) provide the background music to Koodiyattam and necessary sound modulations in scenes.’
      • ‘Welcomed by the sounding of a conch horn, the boat pulls up on the beach which Jimmy explains was a shipment point for sugar and other produce from the estates taking up the bulk of the valley - now collectively called Union Vale Estate.’
      • ‘Trumpets, conches, oboes and drums beat out a rhythm while a huge contingent of Kandyan dancers and drummers perform, their stunning period costumes adding a blaze of colour to the spectacle.’
      • ‘I'm jolted awake the next morning by the trumpeting of a conch shell.’
      • ‘The sound of the conch and things like that were very moving.’
      • ‘She is matched in her determination by most of the other tourists, who scuttle about like termites, obstructing the monks as they circle the arena in their ritual costumes, to the sound of conch trumpets and drums.’
      • ‘Soothingly transitory, the track's Beatlesesque ‘Doo Doos’ are embedded in a piano that's bounced around the hollow of an aluminum conch.’
      • ‘As the last went down a conch blew a deep note and two priests stepped forward and closed the doors of the shrine.’
      • ‘With mighty sounds of drums, horns and conch, Swamiji was invited to take the seat of the Holy Guruji.’
  • 2Architecture
    The roof of a semicircular apse, shaped like half a dome.

    • ‘The main walls of the interior are mostly built of hewn stone, the apse stones are better and the conch stones are very well-hewn.’
    • ‘This era produced hulking concrete edifices built in the form of conch shells, rocket ships, sail boats, origami figures, and circus tents.’
    • ‘This example of classic tetra conch design with all its miniature size, strikes the viewers with its grandeur and integrity.’
  • 3

    another term for concha
    • ‘Furthermore, the conch of the specimen is more compressed and the umbilicus smaller in diameter than those of the genus Properrinites Elias, 1938.’
    • ‘The development of a coiled conch by only stochastic variation, or as a result of structural constraints alone, is considered highly improbable.’
    • ‘Thus the backward expanding marginal folds of the septa provide circumferential anchorage sites that firmly hold the body to the buoyant conch in addition to the few, small adductor muscles.’
    • ‘Because of the lack of the external conch the octopods swam swiftly, and successfully coped with the upper Cretaceous marine predators.’
    • ‘Inner conch piercing looks very similar to lobe piercing, but it is placed on the inner conch and surrounds the lower outer helix.’


Late Middle English: from Latin concha ‘shellfish, shell’, from Greek konkhē ‘mussel, cockle, or shell-like cavity’.