cor·​al | \ ˈkȯr-əl , 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 , ˈkär-​ \ adjective

Examples of coral in a Sentence

brightly colored fishes swimming among the coral

Recent Examples on the Web

And those are the exact reason's Living coral is so applicable in the home and design space. Hannah Morrill, ELLE Decor, "Pantone Just Released Their Color of the Year for 2019," 5 Dec. 2018 Some scientists believe that using CRISPR technology to genetically edit coral could be the best hope for saving reefs in the future. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Robot Will Hunt Lionfish to Save Coral Reefs," 27 Aug. 2018 Yes, coral is the subject here, but innovation is the powerful through line — from idea to implementation to positive change. Susan Faust, San Francisco Chronicle, "Roundup of new children’s books," 24 May 2018 Each room has a color scheme, so our bedroom has purples, our bathroom is pink, our front entrance is coral and blue, and our kitchen is blue. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "10 Things You Should Know About Charleston Blogger Julia Engel," 17 May 2018 Their floral appearance notwithstanding, corals are animals. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian, "Illuminating the Ocean’s Teeming Twilight Zone, Before It Disappears," 14 Apr. 2018 After the 2016 bleaching event, experts noticed that some corals were more resilient than others. Washington Post, "In the Seychelles, coral reefs face climate change threat," 19 Mar. 2018 Finally, the coral in the area is surprisingly pristine. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Dubai," 4 Mar. 2018 There, the duo snorkeled above vibrant coral reefs, hiked through the rainforest, and kayaked to nearby lagoons and islands—all the while making sure to squeeze in daily massages. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Inside Eliana Gil Rodriguez’s Escape to a “Pristine Paradise” in the Philippines," 17 Jan. 2019

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

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coral

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

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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 \

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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