1a soft coral that has spongy lobes stiffened by calcareous spines. When found washed up on the beach it is said to resemble the fingers of a corpse.
- Alcyonium digitatum, order Alcyonacea
2a fungus that produces clumps of dull black, irregular, fingerlike fruiting bodies at the bases of dead tree stumps in both Eurasia and North America.
- Xylaria polymorpha, family Xylariaceae, phylum Ascomycota
3 informal the fingerlike divisions of a lobster’s or crab’s gills.