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Cormorant definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

CORMORANT, n. [Cormorant is supposed to be corrupted from corvus marinus, sea raven. The Welsh also call the fowl morvran, sea crow.]
1. The water raven, a large fowl of the pelican kind; the head and neck are black; the coverts of the wings, the scapulars and the back are of a deep green, edged with black and glossed with blue. The base of the lower mandible is covered with a naked yellow skin, which extends under the chin and forms a sort of pouch. This fowl occupies the cliffs by the sea, feeds on fish, and is extremely voracious.
2. A glutton.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: large voracious dark-colored long-necked seabird with a distensible pouch for holding fish; used in Asia to catch fish [syn: cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English cormeraunt, from Middle French cormorant, from Old French cormareng, from corp raven + marenc of the sea, from Latin marinus more at corbel, marine Date: 14th century 1. any of various dark-colored web-footed water birds (family Phalacrocoracidae, especially genus Phalacrocorax) that have a long neck, hooked bill, and distensible throat pouch 2. a gluttonous, greedy, or rapacious person

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. any diving sea bird of the family Phalacrocoracidae, esp. Phalacrocorax carbo having lustrous black plumage. Etymology: ME f. OF cormaran f. med.L corvus marinus sea-raven: for ending -ant cf. peasant, tyrant

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Cormorant Cor"mo*rant (k[^o]r"m[-o]*rant), n. [F. cormoran, fr. Armor. m[=o]r-vran a sea raven; m[=o]r sea + bran raven, with cor, equiv. to L. corvus raven, pleonastically prefixed; or perh. fr. L. corvus marinus sea raven.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any species of Phalacrocorax, a genus of sea birds having a sac under the beak; the shag. Cormorants devour fish voraciously, and have become the emblem of gluttony. They are generally black, and hence are called sea ravens, and coalgeese. [Written also corvorant.] 2. A voracious eater; a glutton, or gluttonous servant. --B. Jonson.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(cormorants) A cormorant is a type of dark-coloured bird with a long neck. Cormorants usually live near the sea and eat fish. N-COUNT

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:17), Heb. shalak, "plunging," or "darting down," (the Phalacrocorax carbo), ranked among the "unclean" birds; of the same family group as the pelican. It is a "plunging" bird, and is common on the coasts and the island seas of Palestine. Some think the Hebrew word should be rendered "gannet" (Sula bassana, "the solan goose"); others that it is the "tern" or "sea swallow," which also frequents the coasts of Palestine as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan valley during several months of the year. But there is no reason to depart from the ordinary rendering.

In Isa. 34:11, Zeph. 2:14 (but in R.V., "pelican") the Hebrew word rendered by this name is _ka'ath_. It is translated "pelican" (q.v.) in Ps. 102:6. The word literally means the "vomiter," and the pelican is so called from its vomiting the shells and other things which it has voraciously swallowed. (See PELICAN.)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

kor'-mo-rant (shalakh; kataraktes; Latin Corvus marinus): A large sea-fowl belonging to the genus Phalacrocorax and well described by the Hebrew word used to designate it--which means a "plunging bird." The bird appears as large as a goose when in full feather, but plucked, the body is much smaller. The adult birds are glossy black with bronze tints, touched with white on the cheeks and sides as a festal dress at mating season, and adorned with filamentary feathers on the head, and bright yellow gape. These birds if taken young and carefully trained can be sent into the water from boats and bring to their masters large quantities of good-sized fish: commonly so used in China. The flesh is dark, tough and quite unfit to eat in the elders on account of their diet of fish. The nest is built mostly of seaweed. The eggs are small for the size of the birds, having a rough, thick, but rather soft shell of a bluish white which soon becomes soiled, as well as the nest and its immediate surroundings, from the habits of the birds. The young are leathery black, then covered with soft down of brownish black above and white beneath and taking on the full black of the grown bird at about three years. If taken in the squab state the young are said to be delicious food, resembling baked hare in flavor. The old birds are mentioned among the abominations for food (Le 11:13-19; De 14:12-18).

Gene Stratton-Porter

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. n. 1. Pelican-like sea-bird (Phalacrocorax carbo). 2. Glutton, greedy fellow, belly-god, greedy-gut. II. a. Greedy, rapacious, all-devouring.


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