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barrier reef

a reef of coral running roughly parallel to the shore and separated from it by a wide, deep lagoon.
Origin of barrier reef

Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

a coral reef parallel to the coast of Queensland, in NE Australia. 1250 miles (2010 km) long.
Also called Barrier Reef. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for barrier reef
Historical Examples
  • A heavy sea was still running over the barrier reef which enclosed a small lagoon.

  • Day by day we scanned the heaving sea, far out beyond the barrier reef, until I began to feel like Crusoe upon his lonely isle.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • The big front doors stood open to the sea, where a mile away the breakers tossed and tumbled on the barrier reef.

  • The light came, touching with silver the great, tumbling seas outside the barrier reef, but the seas were empty.

    The Island of Enchantment Justus Miles Forman
  • Ross balanced in the middle of the skiff as it bobbed along the swell of waves inside a barrier reef.

    Key Out of Time Andre Alice Norton
  • Having a full set of admiralty sheet-charts of the coast and barrier reef, I felt easy in mind.

  • On again sailing north in the Porpoise, he was wrecked on the barrier reef.

    Terre Napoleon Ernest Scott
  • The Australian bee-eater, a bird of attractive plumage, is found all over the northern islets of the barrier reef.

  • This was outside the barrier reef of the little island of Ailuk, in the Marshall Group.

  • In this case the bank is called a barrier reef, and sometimes it is of enormous size.

British Dictionary definitions for barrier reef

barrier reef

a long narrow coral reef near and lying parallel to the shore, separated from it by deep water See Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

a coral reef in the Coral Sea, off the NE coast of Australia, extending for about 2000 km (1250 miles) from the Torres Strait along the coast of Queensland; the largest coral reef in the world
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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barrier reef in Science
barrier reef  
A long, narrow ridge of coral that runs parallel to the mainland and is separated from it by a deep lagoon. Compare atoll, fringing reef.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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