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[kawr-mer-uh nt] /ˈkɔr mər ənt/
any of several voracious, totipalmate seabirds of the family Phalacrocoracidae, as Phalacrocorax carbo, of America, Europe, and Asia, having a long neck and a distensible pouch under the bill for holding captured fish, used in China for catching fish.
a greedy person.
Origin of cormorant
1300-50; Middle English cormera(u)nt < Middle French cormorant, Old French cormareng < Late Latin corvus marīnus sea-raven. See corbel, marine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cormorant
Historical Examples
  • As the Hornet came to anchor the cormorant saluted her, and she replied instantly.

  • The birds comprise a darter, a cormorant, a guillemot, and a penguin.

  • There Hoori had built a hut roofed with cormorant feathers, and there in due season she gave birth to a son.

    Myths & Legends of Japan F. Hadland (Frederick Hadland) Davis
  • The egg of the cormorant is but little larger than that of a pigeon.

  • Upon the coast the favourite breeding resorts of the cormorant are ranges of lofty cliffs, and small low islands and reefs.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • It is true we agreed to say nothing about it before this cormorant.

    The Knight of Malta Eugene Sue
  • The rock is named from its usual frequenters, the kite, hawk, and cormorant showing up in large numbers on the face.

  • The Spectacled or Pallas's cormorant is one of the rarest of all birds.

    Extinct Birds Walter Rothschild
  • And almost before he had reached land, the old one came to him, and the cormorant skeleton was taken out of the kayak.

  • Yet in New Zealand there exist no fewer than fourteen other species of cormorant.

    The Making of Species Douglas Dewar
British Dictionary definitions for cormorant


any aquatic bird of the family Phalacrocoracidae, of coastal and inland waters, having a dark plumage, a long neck and body, and a slender hooked beak: order Pelecaniformes (pelicans, etc)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French cormareng, from corp raven, from Latin corvus + -mareng of the sea, from Latin mare sea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cormorant

early 14c., from Old French cormarenc (12c., Modern French cormoran), from Late Latin corvus marinus "sea raven" + Germanic suffix -enc, -ing. The -t in English probably is from confusion with words in -ant. It has a reputation for voracity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cormorant in the Bible

(Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:17), Heb. shalak, "plunging," or "darting down," (the Phalacrocorax carbo), ranked among the "unclean" birds; of the same family group as the pelican. It is a "plunging" bird, and is common on the coasts and the island seas of Palestine. Some think the Hebrew word should be rendered "gannet" (Sula bassana, "the solan goose"); others that it is the "tern" or "sea swallow," which also frequents the coasts of Palestine as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan valley during several months of the year. But there is no reason to depart from the ordinary rendering. In Isa. 34:11, Zeph. 2:14 (but in R.V., "pelican") the Hebrew word rendered by this name is _ka'ath_. It is translated "pelican" (q.v.) in Ps. 102:6. The word literally means the "vomiter," and the pelican is so called from its vomiting the shells and other things which it has voraciously swallowed. (See PELICAN.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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