[kawr-mer-uh nt]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cormorant

swine, pig, epicure, gourmand, gorger

Examples from the Web for cormorant

Historical Examples of cormorant

  • It was a horrible, a brutal business, a thing he had not foreseen on board the Cormorant.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

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

  • Law is a bottomless pit; it is a cormorant, a harpy, that devours everything.

  • For a few seconds the skipper of the Cormorant could not utter a word.

    The Lively Poll

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • In another part of that fleet, not far distant, floated the Cormorant.

    The Lively Poll

    R.M. Ballantyne

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 for cormorant

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

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