cor·​al | \ ˈkȯr-əl How to pronounce coral (audio) , ˈkär- \

Definition of coral

1a : the calcareous or horny skeletal deposit produced by anthozoan or rarely hydrozoan polyps especially : a richly red precious coral secreted by a gorgonian (genus Corallium)
b : a polyp or polyp colony together with its membranes and skeleton
2 : a piece of coral and especially of red coral
3a : a bright reddish ovary (as of a lobster or scallop)
b : a deep pink

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Other Words from coral

coral adjective
coralloid \ ˈkȯr-​ə-​ˌlȯid How to pronounce coral (audio) , ˈkär-​ \ adjective

Examples of coral in a Sentence

brightly colored fishes swimming among the coral
Recent Examples on the Web A couple hours after midnight, one to seven nights after the August full moon, Florida coral are in the mood. Adam Erace, Fortune, "Human intervention has been killing the Florida reef. But now human intervention is necessary to save it," 24 Apr. 2021 The smooth flower coral is one of Urbanski’s favorites. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando sanctuary nurses largest cluster of Florida corals rescued from a devastating disease," 15 Apr. 2021 In March, someone in the Philippines saw one of the face coverings strangling coral. Jessica Leigh Hester, Wired, "We’re Starting to See How Covid PPE Litter Affects Wildlife," 17 Apr. 2021 Another is the great star coral because of its variety of colors, from neon-green to purplish. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando sanctuary nurses largest cluster of Florida corals rescued from a devastating disease," 15 Apr. 2021 Proponents countered with testimony from Warren Husband, Florida Harbor Pilots Association attorney, who said cruise ships aren’t responsible for turbidity that biologists say is killing sensitive coral. John Haughey, Washington Examiner, "Bill extending Florida preemptapalooza to ports steams onto Senate floor," 15 Apr. 2021 Ellen, a maximalist who appreciates pizzazz, takes credit for the exuberant use of color—coral, Kelly green, sky blue. Christine Lennon, Better Homes & Gardens, "Stylemaker Ellen Marie Bennett and Casey Caplowe Perfectly Blend Styles in Their LA Home and Garden," 15 Apr. 2021 The resort is also working hand-in-hand with The University of the U.S. Virgin Islands to restore the coral around the island to ensure guests can enjoy snorkeling and diving adventures for generations to come. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "New Resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands Has a Beach Club, Crystal-clear Water, and Villa Overlooking Paradise," 13 Apr. 2021 Although a similar apparatus is famously found in the stinging cells of jellyfish and coral, this appears to be a completely independent invention of pretty much the same equipment. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, "How a Carnivorous Mushroom Poisons Its Prey," 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coral

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for coral

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin corallium, from Greek korallion

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Time Traveler for coral

Time Traveler

The first known use of coral was in the 14th century

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Statistics for coral

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for coral



English Language Learners Definition of coral

: a hard material formed on the bottom of the sea by the skeletons of small creatures
: an orange pink color


cor·​al | \ ˈkȯr-əl How to pronounce coral (audio) \

Kids Definition of coral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a tiny soft-bodied animal that typically lives within a stony skeleton grouped in large colonies and that is related to the jellyfish
2 : a piece of stony material consisting of the skeletons of corals
3 : a colony of corals coral reef
4 : a dark pink



Kids Definition of coral (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made of coral a coral reef
2 : of a dark pink color

More from Merriam-Webster on coral

Nglish: Translation of coral for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about coral

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