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Any of various hard corals of the genus Madrepora or of the order Scleractinia (formerly Madreporaria).
[Italian madrepora : madre, mother (from Latin māter, mātr-; see māter- in Indo-European roots) + -pora (alteration of poro, tufa, pore, from Late Latin porus, passageway; see pore2, or from Latin pōrus, calcareous stone, stalactite, from Greek pōros).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.