Definition of dead man's fingers
1a European colonial soft coral which has spongy lobes stiffened by calcareous spines, said to resemble the fingers of a corpse.
- Alcyonium digitatum, order Alcyonacea
2a fungus that produces clumps of dull black, irregular, finger-like fruiting bodies at the bases of dead tree stumps in Eurasia and North America.
- Xylaria polymorpha, family Xylariaceae, subdivision Ascomycotina
3 informal the finger-like divisions of a lobster’s or crab’s gills.