barrier reef


: a coral reef roughly parallel to a shore and separated from it usually by a lagoon

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Belize has it all: Ancient history, spectacular natural landscapes, the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, and now easier access and more lodging options than ever. Alesandra Dubin, House Beautiful, 9 Mar. 2023 In San Pedro, Ramone’s Dive Shop sails out to the planet’s second longest barrier reef to educate travelers on the need to protect it by providing them with the opportunity to actually see its beauty. Michele Bigley, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Jan. 2023 Molokai, Hawaii Tucked behind a barrier reef, about a 25-minute flight from Maui, the remote Hawaiian island of Molokai is a great tropical vacation option. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2023 Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world, mountains, caves, archeological sites, a dense rainforest, rivers, and enough flora and fauna to occupy any nature enthusiast. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 22 Mar. 2023 With the marine environment being central to the lives of people in the area, the couple will also meet conservation specialists to hear about marine protection and the incredible restoration efforts being taken to preserve the area's precious barrier reef. Simon Perry,, 20 Mar. 2022 Scientists say that weather events early in the season kept the southernmost portions of the barrier reef cooler than normal, so that when temperatures spiked in the summer aided by El Niño, the temperatures in the south never reached the extreme highs that areas northward did. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 30 May 2016 Located along the gentle Caribbean Sea and protected by a barrier reef, this calm beach is ideal for wading or watersports such as kayaking or paddle boarding. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2023 The article, published in Coral Reefs, makes note of lionfish eating a critically endangered wrasse from the inner barrier reef in Belize. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 22 Apr. 2015 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barrier reef.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1805, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barrier reef was in 1805

Dictionary Entries Near barrier reef

Cite this Entry

“Barrier reef.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

barrier reef

: a coral reef roughly parallel to a shore and separated from it by a lagoon

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