[ kawr-uhl, kor- ]
See synonyms for coral on
  1. the hard, variously colored, calcareous skeleton secreted by certain marine polyps.

  2. such skeletons collectively, forming reefs, islands, etc.

  1. the solitary or colonial polyp that secretes this calcareous skeleton.

  2. a reddish yellow; light yellowish red; pinkish yellow.

  3. the unimpregnated roe or eggs of the lobster that when boiled take on the color of red coral.

  4. something made of coral, as an ornament, piece of jewelry, or a child's toy.

  1. made of coral: a coral reef; coral ornamentation.

  2. making coral: a coral polyp.

  1. resembling coral, especially in color; yellowish-red.

Origin of coral

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English coral(l), from Latin corāll(i)um, from Greek korā́llion “red coral,” equivalent to korall- (from Semitic; compare Hebrew gōrāl “pebble”) + -ion diminutive suffix

Other words from coral

  • cor·al·like, adjective

Words Nearby coral

Other definitions for Coral (2 of 2)

[ kawr-uhl, kor- ]

  1. a female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use coral in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for coral


/ (ˈkɒrəl) /

  1. any marine mostly colonial coelenterate of the class Anthozoa having a calcareous, horny, or soft skeleton: See also stony coral, sea fan

    • the calcareous or horny material forming the skeleton of certain of these animals

    • (as modifier): a coral reef See also red coral

    • a rocklike aggregation of certain of these animals or their skeletons, forming an island or reef

    • (as modifier): a coral island

    • an object made of coral, esp a piece of jewellery

    • (as modifier): a coral necklace

    • a deep-pink to yellowish-pink colour

    • (as adjective): coral lipstick

  1. the roe of a lobster or crab, which becomes pink when cooked

Origin of coral

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

Scientific definitions for coral


[ kôrəl ]

  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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.