Share this entry

Share this page

gorgonian

Line breaks: gor¦gon|ian
Pronunciation: /ɡɔːˈɡəʊnɪən
 
/
Zoology

Definition of gorgonian in English:

noun

A colonial coral of an order distinguished by having a horny tree-like skeleton, including the sea fans and precious red coral.
  • Order Gorgonacea, class Anthozoa
Example sentences
  • So I used the last dive of the day to shoot several reef scenes of crinoids sitting among soft corals and gorgonians, and a pair of yellow ghost pipefish.
  • There are many small creatures to photograph among the soft corals, gorgonians, hard corals and sponges.
  • Soft corals and gorgonians reach out from the overhanging sides, while shoals of fish swirl in the shade.

adjective

Back to top  
Relating to gorgons or gorgonians.
Example sentences
  • Several ‘fingers' of rock, each densely covered in gorgonian fans, projected out into the blue.
  • The coral and sponge growth was again lush, but with far healthier gorgonian colonies away from the sometimes violent swells of Diamond Rock.
  • This dive is better in the deeper section, where large gorgonian seafans stretch out into the current, surrounded by large numbers of fish, corals, invertebrates, and some huge barrel sponges.

Origin

mid 19th century: from modern Latin Gorgonia, from Latin Gorgo (see gorgon), with reference to its petrifaction, + -an.

Definition of gorgonian in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈʃprɑːxɡəˌfuːl
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…