barrier reef

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

Origin of barrier reef

First recorded in 1795–1805

Words Nearby barrier reef Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use barrier reef in a sentence

  • Thus a barrier reef may be formed by the seaward growth of a fringing reef upon the talus of its sea face.

    The Elements of Geology | William Harmon Norton
  • There is no encircling barrier reef, while the soundings are so regular as to exclude the existence of coral knolls.

    Cruise of the 'Alert' | R. W. Coppinger

British Dictionary definitions for barrier reef

barrier reef

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

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 barrier reef

barrier reef

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.