Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An island or chain of islets connected by a coral reef that nearly or entirely encloses a lagoon.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A coral island, consisting of a strip or ring of coral surrounding a central lagoon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A coral island or islands, consisting of a belt of coral reef, partly submerged, surrounding a central lagoon or depression; a lagoon island.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A type of island consisting of a ribbon reef that nearly or entirely surrounds a lagoon and supports, in most cases, one to many islets on the reef platform. Atolls have a unique geology, so not all islands with a reef and a lagoon are atolls.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an island consisting of a circular coral reef surrounding a lagoon

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Dhivehi atholhu; probably akin to Sinhalese ätul, interior (from the interior lagoon), probably from Sanskrit *antala-, interior, variant of antara-; see en in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Malayalam അതൊലു (atolu, "reef") and Dhivehi އބތަލ (ab-tal), from Persian آب‌تل (āb-tal, "water-hillock")

Examples

  • The atoll is on admiralty charts as Hikihoho, discovered by Bougainville [Louis Antoine de Bougainville, 1729-1811, French soldier and explorer, the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the world] but called Parlay after old Parlay, a wizard with pearls who never parts with a pearl and stores hundreds of ton of shell.

    “Have you lived? What have you got to show for it?”

  • The ring-like shape of the atoll is the result of coral reefs building up around a former volcanic island.

    Where In The Universe Challenge #84 | Universe Today

  • Bassas da India (Iles Eparses): the atoll is a circular reef that sits atop a long-extinct, submerged volcano

    French Southern and Antarctic Lands

  • Inside the atoll is a large lagoon with shallows and pools 1 to 5 m deep.

    Brazilian Atlantic Islands, Brazil

  • Bassas da India (Iles Eparses): the atoll is a circular reef that sits atop a long-extinct, submerged volcano

    Geography-note

  • The rim of the atoll is a karst structure; there is also a quantity of exposed coral rock and extensive sand dunes and rubble to the southwest.

    Ile Europa and Bassas da India xeric scrub

  • The landing would take them down the runway away from the concentration of Russian troops; according to the satellite photo, they would have some cover at that end of the atoll from a short run of rocks.

    Cyclops One

  • The landing would take them down the runway away from the concentration of Russian troops; according to the satellite photo, they would have some cover at that end of the atoll from a short run of rocks.

    Cyclops One

  • Below it, the atoll was a tiny bull's eye in a huge target.

    The Martian Way

  • Bassas da India: the atoll is a circular reef that sits atop a long-extinct, submerged volcano

    The 2007 CIA World Factbook

Comments

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  • What toll atoll?

    March 6, 2009

  • I'm naming my paradise island retreat No Worries Atoll.

    March 6, 2009

  • And just for the record, I'm putting dontcry in charge of the coconuts.

    March 6, 2009

  • It's the only Maldivian word in English (that I know of).

    March 6, 2009

  • do tell (due tell)and it means "closing" and "uniting" paradoxically

    March 6, 2009