Definition of dead man's fingers
1a soft coral that has spongy lobes stiffened by calcareous spines. When found washed up on the beach it is said to resemble the fingers of a corpse.
- Alcyonium digitatum, order Alcyonacea
2a fungus that produces clumps of dull black, irregular, fingerlike fruiting bodies at the bases of dead tree stumps in both Eurasia and North America.
- Xylaria polymorpha, family Xylariaceae, phylum Ascomycota
3 informal the fingerlike divisions of a lobster’s or crab’s gills.