The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Coral \Cor"al\, n. [Of. coral, F, corail, L. corallum, coralium,
fr. Gr. kora`llion.]
1. (Zool.) The hard parts or skeleton of various Anthozoa,
and of a few Hydrozoa. Similar structures are also formed
by some Bryozoa.
Note: The large stony corals forming coral reefs belong to
various genera of Madreporaria, and to the hydroid
genus, Millepora. The red coral, used in jewelry, is
the stony axis of the stem of a gorgonian (Corallium
rubrum) found chiefly in the Mediterranean. The fan
corals, plume corals, and sea feathers are species
of Gorgoniacea, in which the axis is horny.
Organ-pipe coral is formed by the genus Tubipora, an
Alcyonarian, and black coral is in part the axis of
species of the genus Antipathes. See Anthozoa,
2. The ovaries of a cooked lobster; -- so called from their
3. A piece of coral, usually fitted with small bells and
other appurtenances, used by children as a plaything.
Brain coral, or Brain stone coral. See under Brain.
Chain coral. See under Chain.
Coral animal (Zool.), one of the polyps by which corals are
formed. They are often very erroneously called coral
Coral fish. See in the Vocabulary.
Coral reefs (Phys. Geog.), reefs, often of great extent,
made up chiefly of fragments of corals, coral sands, and
the solid limestone resulting from their consolidation.
They are classed as fringing reefs, when they border the
land; barrier reefs, when separated from the shore by a
broad belt of water; atolls, when they constitute
separate islands, usually inclosing a lagoon. See Atoll.
Coral root (Bot.), a genus (Corallorhiza) of orchideous
plants, of a yellowish or brownish red color, parasitic on
roots of other plants, and having curious jointed or
knotted roots not unlike some kinds of coral. See Illust.
Coral snake. (Zo)
(a) A small, venomous, Brazilian snake (Elaps
corallinus), coral-red, with black bands.
(b) A small, harmless, South American snake (Tortrix
Coral tree (Bot.), a tropical, leguminous plant, of several
species, with showy, scarlet blossoms and coral-red seeds.
The best known is Erythrina Corallodendron.
Coral wood, a hard, red cabinet wood. --McElrath.