\ ˈküt How to pronounce coot (audio) \

Definition of coot

1 : any of various slaty-black birds (genus Fulica) of the rail family that somewhat resemble ducks and have lobed toes and the upper mandible prolonged on the forehead as a horny frontal shield
2 : any of several North American scoters
3 : a harmless simple person broadly : fellow sense 4c

Examples of coot in a Sentence

Don't mind him—he's just a crazy old coot.
Recent Examples on the Web Birds like woodpeckers, heron, egrets, ibis, coots, ducks and osprey can be found in the park along with alligators, otters and manatees. Patrick Connolly,, "Florida Springs Guide: De Leon Springs State Park," 10 July 2019 Under the proposal, goose, duck and coot hunting will be allowed only on boat. Will Houston, The Mercury News, "Trump administration proposes hunting, fishing expansion in Bay Area wildlife refuges," 6 June 2019 Officially, the concept of the bucket list derives from the bellicosely heartwarming 2007 film of that name about two doomed old coots competing with one another to polish off a list of personal dreams before the Grim Reaper carries them off. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "It’s Time to Kick the Bucket List," 20 July 2018 Her old coot of a husband doddered over to see what the trouble was. George Saunders, The New Yorker, "Little St. Don," 19 Feb. 2016 At the edge of the property is a pond where swans, mallards and coots paddle around. Pete Wells, New York Times, "The New Noma: Frequently Asked Questions," 24 Apr. 2018 The movie gives us just enough horny youngsters, references to pot, and old coots with grudges to fill screen time until the special-effects guys go to work. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies': Film Review," 24 Mar. 2018 Eagles prey on American coots, which dine almost exclusively on hydrilla, the Post reported. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Invasive weed known as ‘serial killer of eagles’ back in Lake Norman | Charlotte Observer," 15 Feb. 2018 On a recent cool morning here, mallards flew overhead, pelicans swam on the lake, coots picked bugs out of the mud, and a lone doe sauntered through tall grass. Adam Popescu, New York Times, "‘These Eagles Are More Than Just a Symbol’," 20 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coot

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coot

Middle English coote; akin to Dutch koet coot

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Time Traveler for coot

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The first known use of coot was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Coot.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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How to pronounce coot (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coot

: a type of black and gray bird that lives on or near the water
US, informal : a strange and usually old man

More from Merriam-Webster on coot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coot Encyclopedia article about coot

Comments on coot

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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