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little egret

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noun
  1. See under egret(def 1).

egret

[ee-grit, eg-rit, ee-gret, ee-gret]
noun
  1. any of several usually white herons that grow long, graceful plumes during the breeding season, as Egretta garzetta (little egret), of the Old World.
  2. aigrette.

Origin of egret

1400–50; late Middle English egret(e) < Anglo-French egret (compare Middle French égreste, aigrette), alteration (with -on exchanged for -et -et) of dialectal Old French aigron < Germanic; see heron
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for little egret

egret

noun
  1. any of various wading birds of the genera Egretta, Hydranassa, etc, that are similar to herons but usually have a white plumage and, in the breeding season, long feathery plumes: family Ardeidae, order CiconiiformesSee also aigrette

Word Origin

C15: from Old French aigrette, from Old Provençal aigreta, from aigron heron, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German heigaro heron
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

Word Origin and History for little egret

egret

n.

mid-14c., from Old French aigrette, from Old Provençal aigreta, diminutive of aigron "heron," perhaps of Germanic origin (cf. Old High German heigaro; see heron).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper