The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cowrie \Cow"rie\ Cowry \Cow"ry\(kou"r[y^]), n.; pl. Cowries
(-r[i^]z). [Hind. kaur[imac].] (Zool.)
A marine shell of the genus Cypr[ae]a.
Note: There are numerous species, many of them ornamental.
Formerly Cypr[ae]a moneta and several other species
were largely used as money in Africa and some other
countries, and they are still so used to some extent.
The value is always trifling, and varies at different