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atoll

[at-awl, -ol, -ohl, uh-tawl, uh-tol, uh-tohl] /ˈæt ɔl, -ɒl, -oʊl, əˈtɔl, əˈtɒl, əˈtoʊl/
noun
1.
a ring-shaped coral reef or a string of closely spaced small coral islands, enclosing or nearly enclosing a shallow lagoon.
Origin
1615-1625
1615-25; earlier atollon < French: a word used in early descriptions of the Maldive Island atolls; said to be Divehi (Indo-Aryan language of the Maldives) atoḷu
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for atoll
  • He announces he hasn't come to claim her, but to investigate reports that the atoll is rich with uranium.
  • The reef and atoll systems that have evolved here in isolation remain virtually untouched by humans.
British Dictionary definitions for atoll

atoll

/ˈætɒl; əˈtɒl/
noun
1.
a circular coral reef or string of coral islands surrounding a lagoon
Word Origin
C17: from atollon, native name in the Maldive Islands
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for atoll
atoll
1620s, atollon, from Malayam atolu "reef," probably from adal "closing, uniting." Popularized in present form by Darwin's writings.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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atoll in Science
atoll
  (āt'ôl', ā'tôl')   

A coral island or series of coral islands forming a ring that nearly or entirely encloses a shallow lagoon. Atolls are surrounded by deep ocean water and range in diameter from about 1 km (0.62 mi) to over 100 km (62 mi). They are especially common in the western and central Pacific Ocean and are believed to form along the fringes of underwater volcanoes. Compare barrier reef, fringing reef.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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atoll in Culture
atoll [(a-tawl, a-tol, ay-tawl, ay-tol)]

A coral island that surrounds a lagoon. (See coral reef.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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atoll in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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