Definition of cormorant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɔːm(ə)r(ə)nt/


Image of cormorant
A rather large diving bird with a long neck, long hooked bill, short legs, and mainly dark plumage. It typically breeds on coastal cliffs.
  • Genus Phalacrocorax (and Nannopterum), family Phalacrocoracidae: numerous species, in particular the widespread (great) cormorant (P. carbo).
Example sentences
  • We were extremely fortunate that the cormorants were in breeding plumage.
  • The double-crested cormorant is a black bird with a long neck, long bill, hooked on the end, and long tail.
  • Ducks, coots, teals, terns, gulls, cormorants, waders, egrets, plovers and herons are some of the birds that assemble here.


Middle English: from Old French cormaran, from medieval Latin corvus marinus 'sea raven'. The final -t is on the pattern of words such as peasant.

  • Picture a glossy black cormorant, a large diving bird with a long neck, greedily gobbling down great quantities of fish, and you might agree that the description ‘sea raven’ seems rather fitting. This is indeed the meaning of the Latin corvus marinus, the source of the bird's name. Since the 16th century the word has also been used to describe an insatiably greedy person or thing.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cor|mor¦ant

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