coot

noun
\ˈküt \

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

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 Dern plays crusty old coots as well as anyone in the business, but the background on his lonely golden years is unexplored. Colin Covert, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Nostalgia’ is a sentimental mess," 1 Mar. 2018 Robert Forster is outstanding as the grizzled old coot. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Damsel': Film Review | Sundance 2018," 24 Jan. 2018 Waterfowl, including great egrets and American coots, are finding the changes to their liking. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Amid drawdown, fishery closure proposed for Little Muskego Lake," 11 Oct. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near coot

Coos Bay

cooser

coost

coot

Cootamundra wattle

cootch

cooter

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

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More Definitions for coot

coot

noun

English Language Learners Definition of coot

: a type of black and gray bird that lives on or near the water

: a strange and usually old man

More from Merriam-Webster on coot

See words that rhyme with coot

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about coot

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