• synonyms


[ee-grit, eg-rit, ee-gret, ee-gret]
  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.
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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

Examples from the Web for egret

Historical Examples

  • The Egret settled to her nest again and the Pelican went on with the story.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • "It was the plan of the Cacica of Cofachique," explained the Egret.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • It will be from the Sultan himself, with the heart of an egret in his hand.

  • Baibars wore an egret's plume, symbol of valor, on his green turban.

  • The colour of the Egret is pure white, with the exception of the train.

    Bible Animals;

    J. G. Wood

British Dictionary definitions for egret


  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
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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 egret


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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper