One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The cuplike calcareous skeleton of a single coral polyp.
- ‘The fine skeletal structures of the corallites are typically obliterated; skeletons are composed of fine to coarse, neomorphic calcite.’
- ‘If I were to look at photographs of the deep structure of this piece, I'd see down into the level of the skeleton of each coral polyp, the corallite.’
- ‘Daughter corallites possess relatively large diameters from the beginning, along with a robust colonial pattern.’
- ‘The angle between offsets and parent corallites varies, even in the same division.’
- ‘Daughter corallites then turn vertically, giving the corallum a robust appearance.’
- 1.1 A fossil coral.
Early 19th century: from Latin corallum ‘coral’ + -ite.
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