barrier reef


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

Examples of barrier reef in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Spanning nearly 72 miles, the largest barrier reef system in Mexico and the Caribbean, Banco Chinchorro, is just an hour-long boat ride away. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 28 May 2024 The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, home to more than 6,000 wildlife species like whales, dolphins and manatees — plus the world's third-largest barrier reef — protects the water surrounding the islands. Catherine Garcia, theweek, 5 Mar. 2024 The impressive ecosystem is the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere and home to a variety of wildlife: seahorses, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, manatees, and more. Jessica Poitevien, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 June 2023 The two of them share a lagoon and are encircled by one barrier reef. Maggie Shipstead, Travel + Leisure, 30 Aug. 2023 See all Example Sentences for barrier reef 

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 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

barrier reef

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

More from Merriam-Webster on barrier reef

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!