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From Biology-Online Dictionary
(Science: zoology) Any coral of the genus Madrepora; formerly, often applied to any stony coral.
Origin: f. Madrepore, perh. Fr. Madre spotted, fr. OF. Madre, mazre, a kind of knotty wood with brown spots, fr. OHG. Masar a knot, grain, or vein in wood, a speck, g. Maser _ pore (see pore); or perh. F. Madrepore is rather from It. Madrepora, and this perh. Fr. It. Madre mother (see mother) _ gr. A soft stone.