Definition of coralline in English:



  • 1A branching reddish seaweed with a calcareous jointed stem.

    Family Corallinaceae, division Rhodophyta, in particular Corallina officinalis, which is common on the coasts of the North Atlantic

    • ‘The inner reef, where we do walk, is actually composed of coralline algae, calcium-rich plants that form rock-hard ledges.’
    • ‘Slope sediments consist of a medium-grained, bioclastic floatstone to rudstone with abundant bryozoans, bivalves and branching coralline algae.’
    • ‘One mechanism often proposed to explain how encrusting algae can inhibit their potential competitors is thallus shedding, which is well documented among nongeniculate coralline algae.’
    • ‘In more distal positions within the ramp, the ‘background’ sediment is a fine- to medium-grained floatstone to rudstone with abundant, small fragments of delicate-branching bryozoans and branching coralline algae.’
    • ‘Fiji is the world's primary supplier of live rock (covered with decorative coralline algae and other tiny invertebrates).’
    • ‘The organisms that most significantly contribute to the production of temperate carbonate grains, such as bryozoans, coralline algae and epifaunal bivalves, cannot successfully thrive on mobile substrate.’
    • ‘Most limestone deposits of reef origin consist largely of the skeletons of coralline algae, and because these are often associated with petroleum deposits, there has been a great deal of attention focussed on these fossils.’
    • ‘Some organisms, including sponges, barnacles, and encrusting coralline algae, can, however, survive overgrowth, without apparent damage, for indeterminate periods of time or may even benefit from being overgrown.’
    • ‘I will leave the lights off until the tank cycles, discouraging any green diatom growth while dosing with calcium to regenerate the varying reds of coralline algae.’
    • ‘In protected places, every inch of rock is forested in reds, pinks, and purples of the rockweed and coralline algae.’
    • ‘These reef-building rhodophytes are called coralline algae, because they secrete a hard shell of carbonate around themselves, in much the same way that corals do.’
    • ‘Many non-geniculate coralline algae have been suggested to actively inhibit colonization of epiphytes by shedding epithallial cells.’
    • ‘It becomes covered in coralline algae, tiny plants that grow in mats and form a rose-red crust.’
    • ‘‘Brilliant’ in its remarkable red and pink hues, ‘brilliant’ against the pink coralline algae it was sitting on, and ‘brilliant’ in its bizarre lifestyle.’
    • ‘Additional information about the ecology of rhodophytes may be found at the Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation, whose site includes information on coralline algae propagation.’
    • ‘Diversification of coralline algae during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic is well documented.’
    1. 1.1 (in general use) a sedentary colonial marine animal, especially a bryozoan.


  • 1Derived or formed from coral.

    ‘the islands were volcanic rather than coralline in origin’
    • ‘The beach was conspicuous, not just because of the brilliance of its coralline sand but because of the absence of the waste products of human society.’
    • ‘They also gave detailed descriptions of associated lithologies, noting that the coralline interval lies some tens of meters below the calcareous shale that contains ‘Paratrachyceras ammonoids’.’
    • ‘The similar-looking corallimorphan covers large areas of dead coralline limestone boulders on Bermuda reefs.’
    • ‘Sandy flats with occasional coralline outcrops dominate the bottom topography.’
    • ‘Two coralline pillars shoulder their way up from the deep and barge through throngs of fish to emerge swathed in surf, snarling in the face of the currents that dominate this coast.’
    1. 1.1 Of the pinkish-red colour of precious red coral.
      ‘a coralline pepper’
      • ‘At first they appear to have produced vases with a black glaze, but this soon gave place to a red coralline colour.’
    2. 1.2 Resembling coral.
      ‘coralline sponges’
      • ‘Rhodoliths are a type of algae that secretes a coralline skeleton, a bit like a coral.’
      • ‘Archaeocyathids, which are possible representatives of coralline sponges, have a secondary calcareous skeleton of high Mg-calcite and are possibly derived from demosponges.’


Mid 16th century: the noun from Italian corallina, diminutive of corallo ‘coral’, the adjective (mid 17th century) from French corallin or late Latin corallinus, both based on Latin corallum ‘coral’.