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[sig-nit] /ˈsɪg nɪt/
a young swan.
Origin of cygnet
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English signet < Latin cygnus, variant of cycnus < Greek kýknos swan; see -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cygnet
Historical Examples
  • Except in the state of a cygnet, and that rarely, the bird now is not met with at table.

    Christmastide William Sandys
  • When the cygnet's down proves a barrier to the tempest's breath.

  • The young swan is called a cygnet, from the French word for "swan."

    Our Domestic Birds John H. Robinson
  • In the beginning of January , the cygnet was removed to without the bar of the river.

  • When the cygnet tied up at Barnegat at noon to-day I was fit as a fiddle.

    The Bartlett Mystery Louis Tracy
  • It was four o'clock when we reached Strasburg, where we stopped at The cygnet.

  • It was to one of this band that the Captain of the cygnet addressed his latest words.

    Sir Mortimer Mary Johnston
  • Another groaned, "I had rather see the cygnet that was the best-loved ship!"

    Sir Mortimer Mary Johnston
  • For herself she had no care, she could swim like any cygnet; and for her own sport had spent hours in water at all seasons.

    Folle-Farine Ouida
  • The cygnet, as before noticed, was fitted out from London for the purpose of trade.

British Dictionary definitions for cygnet


a young swan
Word Origin
C15 sygnett, from Old French cygne swan, from Latin cygnus, from Greek kuknos
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 cygnet

c.1400, also signet before 17c., from Anglo-French, diminutive of Old French cigne, cisne "swan" (12c., Modern French cygne), from Latin cygnus, from Greek kyknos, perhaps from PIE *keuk- "to be white."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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