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- 2a sedentary coelenterate of warm and tropical seas, with a calcareous, horny, or soft skeleton. Most corals are colonial and many rely on the presence of green algae in their tissues to obtain energy from sunlight.
- Several orders in the class Anthozoa, including the ‘true’ or stony corals (order Scleractinia or Madreporaria), which form reefs, the soft corals (order Alcyonacea), which form leathery or fleshy colonies, and the horny corals (order Gorgonacea)
Middle English: via Old French from Latin corallum, from Greek korallion, kouralion