atoll

[ at-awl, -ol, -ohl, uh-tawl, uh-tol, uh-tohl ]
/ ˈæt ɔl, -ɒl, -oʊl, əˈtɔl, əˈtɒl, əˈtoʊl /

noun

a ring-shaped coral reef or a string of closely spaced small coral islands, enclosing or nearly enclosing a shallow lagoon.

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Origin of atoll

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for atoll

British Dictionary definitions for atoll

atoll
/ (ˈætɒl, əˈtɒl) /

noun

a circular coral reef or string of coral islands surrounding a lagoon

Word Origin for atoll

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

Scientific definitions for atoll

atoll
[ ătôl′, ātôl′ ]

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

Cultural definitions for atoll

atoll
[ (a-tawl, a-tol, ay-tawl, ay-tol) ]

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

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.