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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A chain or range of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water. See Coral reefs, under Coral.

2. (Science: chemical) A large vein of auriferous quartz; so called in australia. Hence, any body of rock yielding valuable ore.

(Science: zoology) Reef builder, any heron of the genus Demigretta; as, the blue reef heron (D.jugularis) of australia.

Origin: Akin to D. Rif, G. Riff, Icel. Rif, Dan. Rev; cf. Icel. Rifa rift, rent, fissure, rifa to rive, bear. Cf. Rift, Rive.