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 the Appendix of 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).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.