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

There are spiky rose gold necklaces with a subtle swing and a spectacular coral-bead ring that everyone loves and turns out to be pricier than the diamond version, who knew? Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "Cartier Celebrates Its Latest Collection With a Lavish Parisian Fete," 19 Apr. 2019 The dive took place off a coral atoll called St. Joseph in the outer islands of Seychelles on a mission to explore the Indian Ocean. David Keyton, The Seattle Times, "Off the Seychelles, a dive into a never-seen landscape," 13 Apr. 2019 Aweng Chuol reminded us that at 5:00 a.m., a high, swaying, side pony, pomegranate glossed lips, and coral-orange, angular eye, is the perfect way to start the day…or end it. Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Imaan Hammam, Lameka Fox, and More," 31 Mar. 2019 Three times, in 2006, 2007, and 2008, SpaceX tried to launch a Falcon 1 rocket from Omelek Island in the Pacific Ocean, a coral shelf perhaps a meter above sea level and the size of three soccer fields. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin," 21 Sep. 2018 There’s a wonderful kind of pink, peach coral lip color that Astrid wears at the end of the movie, in the engagement party scene. Jessica Chia, Allure, "Crazy Rich Asians' Gemma Chan On Her Very British Beauty Routine," 20 Sep. 2018 Warmer waters also mean that coral-eating sea stars survive longer, lay more eggs, and cause more damage. National Geographic, "These 38 Coral Reefs Are Thriving, Despite Threats," 18 June 2018 Some of the topics the summit will address, according to its coral-pink flyer?, "A Republican Congressman Wants To Teach Women About Gardening & Weight Loss," 1 June 2018 There was no coral, no fish - just pieces of lava rock, submerged in glacial runoff, forming incredible underwater creations. Susan Glaser,, "Iceland Travel Blog: Snorkeling in glacial water between two continents (photos)," 9 May 2018

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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Statistics for coral

Last Updated

29 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coral

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

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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

Comments on coral

What made you want to look up coral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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