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 coralloid (audio) , ˈkär-​ \ adjective

Examples of coral in a Sentence

brightly colored fishes swimming among the coral
Recent Examples on the Web Aerial surveys conducted along the 2,000-kilometer-long reef over nine days in late March show that 25 percent of 1,036 individuals reefs surveyed were severely affected, with more than 60 percent of corals bleached. Fox News, "Great Barrier reef sees most widespread bleaching ever recorded, scientists say," 8 Apr. 2020 Combined with ocean acidification and pollution, an increase of 2 degrees C in the global average temperature could mean the loss of 99 percent of tropical corals. Wired, "Our Planet May Be Barreling Toward a Tipping Point," 27 Nov. 2019 From coral to traffic cone, find your foolproof guide to orange nail polish, ahead. Megan Decker,, "Celebs Are Making Orange The Nail Polish Shade Of The Summer," 15 July 2019 The reef track is a living thing, made up of 80 species of countless corals that host other creatures, like 70 species of marine sponges. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "US special forces veterans are deploying to save coral reefs," 8 June 2019 Gilboa snapped a fallen piece of coral back into place and, as always, scrubbed the gravel and cleaned the acrylic. James T. Bartlett, Los Angeles Times, "In coronavirus lockdown, Union Station’s aquarium loses its fans but not its keepers," 6 May 2020 Shots of coral, red, and turquoise add brightness while porthole windows, jigsaw puzzle tables, hanging chairs, and ship lights lend even more artful whimsy that’s fun for any age. Jennifer Blaise Kramer, House Beautiful, "This Home Is the Ultimate Island Getaway, No Matter Your Age," 28 June 2019 In 2019 alone, he's experimented with bubblegum pink, lilac, peach, and varying shades of coral. Devon Abelman, Allure, "BTS's Jimin Just Dyed His Hair Black for the First Stop of the U.S. Stadium Tour," 6 May 2019 That sewage, about 4 million gallons each day, travels through the groundwater to the Pacific Ocean, devastating the local coral reefs and ecosystems, environmentalists who brought the case argued. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Supreme Court says Trump view of key Clean Water Act provision would create ‘obvious loophole’," 23 Apr. 2020

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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for coral


How to pronounce coral (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on coral

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coral

Spanish Central: Translation of coral

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

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