Definition of albatross in English:
noun (plural albatrosses)
- Genera Diomedea and Phoebetria, family Diomedeidae: several species, including the sooty albatross (P. fusca), Laysan albatross (D. immutablis), and wandering albatross (D. exulans)
- A birdwatcher 65 million years ago could have seen relatives of today's loons, geese and ducks, albatrosses and petrels, and gulls and shorebirds, and possibly other familiar birds as well.
- It's penguins, albatrosses, caracaras, steamer ducks and a couple of endemic small jobs you've come for.
- The black frigatebirds, with their sharply angled wings, ride rising thermals, whereas the white albatrosses, with their long narrow wings, catch a lift on a cold gale.
- Queen Noor of Jordan is backing an albatross aptly named The Ancient Mariner.
- Instead, they see it as a problem, as a liability, as an albatross around our financial necks.
- However, the average student, in order simply to meet the expense of university education - even with parental support - is still burdened by the albatross of a £12,000 debt on leaving.
- In 2002, there were four albatrosses on the PGA Tour, versus 40 holes-in-one.
- In the modified stableford format, an albatross is worth eight points, an eagle five and a birdie two, while a par is worth nothing and players lose one point for a bogey and two for multiple bogeys.
- Thanks to his albatross and some solid golf thereafter he finished three under.
Late 17th century: alteration (influenced by Latin albus 'white') of 16th-century alcatras, applied to various seabirds including the frigate bird and pelican, from Spanish and Portuguese alcatraz, from Arabic al-ġaṭṭās 'the diver'.
The spelling of albatross was influenced by Latin albus, ‘white’. The large white seabird was originally called the alcatras, a name which was also applied to other water birds such as the pelican (who gave their name to the prison-island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay) and came from Spanish and Portuguese alcatraz, from Arabic al-gattās ‘the diver’. In golf an albatross is a score of three under par at a hole ( see bird). Albatross sometimes carries with it an idea of misfortune and burdensome guilt: this alludes to Coleridge's Ancient Mariner (1798), in which an albatross is shot by the mariner, bringing disaster on the rest of the crew and long-lasting guilt to him.
- British & World English dictionary
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.