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[kawr-uh l, kor-] /ˈkɔr əl, ˈkɒr-/
the hard, variously colored, calcareous skeleton secreted by certain marine polyps.
such skeletons collectively, forming reefs, islands, etc.
the solitary or colonial polyp that secretes this calcareous skeleton.
a reddish yellow; light yellowish red; pinkish yellow.
the unimpregnated roe or eggs of the lobster that when boiled take on the color of red coral.
something made of coral, as an ornament, piece of jewelry, or a child's toy.
made of coral:
a coral reef; coral ornamentation.
making coral:
a coral polyp.
resembling coral, especially in color; yellowish-red.
Origin of coral
1275-1325; Middle English coral(l) < Latin corāll(i)um < Greek korā́llion red coral, equivalent to korall- (< Semitic; compare Hebrew gōrāl pebble) + -ion diminutive suffix
Related forms
corallike, adjective


[kawr-uh l, kor-] /ˈkɔr əl, ˈkɒr-/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for coral
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is pretty to see the little red claws, which as crayons of coral design them.

    Some Noble Sisters Edmund Lee
  • The cable, which had been broken by the anchors of coral fishers, was grapnelled with difficulty.

  • Tu or dree dizzen, an' half a ton o' coral an' some wild-crabs.

    A Poor Man's House Stephen Sydney Reynolds
  • He brought no money, no coral from foreign parts, nor news of grapes in Eshcol.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • The entrance to the harbour is surrounded by coral reefs, and is very intricate.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for coral


any marine mostly colonial coelenterate of the class Anthozoa having a calcareous, horny, or soft skeleton See also stony coral, sea fan
  1. the calcareous or horny material forming the skeleton of certain of these animals
  2. (as modifier): a coral reef See also red coral
  1. a rocklike aggregation of certain of these animals or their skeletons, forming an island or reef
  2. (as modifier): a coral island
  1. an object made of coral, esp a piece of jewellery
  2. (as modifier): a coral necklace
  1. a deep-pink to yellowish-pink colour
  2. (as adjective): coral lipstick
the roe of a lobster or crab, which becomes pink when cooked
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin corāllium, from Greek korallion, probably of Semitic origin
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 coral

c.1300, from Old French coral (12c., Modern French corail), from Latin corallium, from Greek korallion; perhaps of Semitic origin (cf. Hebrew goral "small pebble," Arabic garal "small stone"), originally just the red variety found in the Mediterranean, hence use of the word as a symbol of "red." Related: Coralline. Coral snake (1760) is so called for the red zones in its markings. Coral reef is attested from 1745.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coral in Science
  1. Any of numerous small, sedentary cnidarians (coelenterates) of the class Anthozoa. Corals often form massive colonies in shallow sea water and secrete a cup-shaped skeleton of calcium carbonate, which they can retreat into when in danger. Corals are related to the sea anemones and have stinging tentacles around the mouth opening that are used to catch prey.

  2. A hard, stony substance consisting of the skeletons of these animals. It is typically white, pink, or reddish and can form large reefs that support an abundance of ocean fish.

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

1. Class Oriented Ring Associated Language.
2. A deductive database and logic programming system based on Horn-clause rules with extensions like SQL's group-by and aggregation operators. CORAL was developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is implemented in C++ and has a Prolog-like syntax.
Many evaluation techniques are supported, including bottom-up fixpoint evaluation and top-down backtracking. Modules are separately compiled; different evaluation methods can be used in different modules within a single program. Disk-resident data is supported via an interface to the Exodus storage manager. There is an on-line help facility. It requires AT&T C++ 2.0 (or G++ soon) and runs on Decstation and Sun-4.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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coral in the Bible

Heb. ramoth, meaning "heights;" i.e., "high-priced" or valuable things, or, as some suppose, "that which grows high," like a tree (Job 28:18; Ezek. 27:16), according to the Rabbins, red coral, which was in use for ornaments. The coral is a cretaceous marine product, the deposit by minute polypous animals of calcareous matter in cells in which the animal lives. It is of numberless shapes as it grows, but usually is branched like a tree. Great coral reefs and coral islands abound in the Red Sea, whence probably the Hebrews derived their knowledge of it. It is found of different colours, white, black, and red. The red, being esteemed the most precious, was used, as noticed above, for ornamental purposes.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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