coral

Coral is a marine polyp with a calcareous skeleton that lives in colonies. You probably last saw coral while scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. That or while looking at the coral necklaces in the beach shop.

Though coral looks like stone with little holes, it is actually a kind of sea polyp with a stony, hole filled skeleton. Sometimes the word coral refers to the skeleton itself. Because of the red color of Mediterranean coral, coral is also an adjective meaning pink-red. Shakespeare wrote: “My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more “red than her lips' red.” Coral can also be a noun for unfertilized lobster eggs that turn red when cooking.

Definitions of coral
  1. noun
    marine colonial polyp characterized by a calcareous skeleton; masses in a variety of shapes often forming reefs
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 8 types...
    hide 8 types...
    gorgonian, gorgonian coral
    corals having a horny or calcareous branching skeleton
    madrepore, madriporian coral, stony coral
    corals having calcareous skeletons aggregations of which form reefs and islands
    sea feather
    corals forming featherlike colonies
    sea fan
    corals having a treelike or fan-shaped horny skeleton
    red coral
    corals of especially the Mediterranean having pink or red color used for ornaments and jewelry
    brain coral
    massive reef-building coral having a convoluted and furrowed surface
    stag's-horn coral, staghorn coral
    large branching coral resembling antlers
    mushroom coral
    flattened disk-shaped stony coral (usually solitary and unattached)
    type of:
    actinozoan, anthozoan
    sessile marine coelenterates including solitary and colonial polyps; the medusoid phase is entirely suppressed
  2. noun
    the hard stony skeleton of a Mediterranean coral that has a delicate red or pink color and is used for jewelry
    synonyms: precious coral, red coral
    see moresee less
    type of:
    opaque gem
    a gemstone that is opaque
  3. noun
    a variable color averaging a deep pink
    see moresee less
    type of:
    pink
    a light shade of red
  4. adjective
    of a strong pink to yellowish-pink color
    Synonyms:
    chromatic
    being or having or characterized by hue
  5. noun
    unfertilized lobster roe; reddens in cooking; used as garnish or to color sauces
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hard roe, roe
    fish eggs or egg-filled ovary; having a grainy texture
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week