\ 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 The coot is the late Brian Dennehy, bringing low-key charm to his friendship with Lucas Jaye, who plays a kid helping his mom clear out her late sister's garbage house. Star Tribune, "Bring some (Darlene) Love into your home: Best things to watch this week," 17 Dec. 2020 Most of my fellow members of the media laughed at Harry and portrayed him as a stubborn ol’ coot who probably belonged in the nuthouse. oregonlive, "Mount St. Helens eruption: Witnesses recall terror, awe when mountain exploded 40 years ago," 18 May 2020 Spotted salamanders breed here and night herons roost, alongside coots and grebes. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Keeping a Distance, From Everything but Nature," 13 May 2020 At the Laguna Grande restoration area, American coots bob in open water fringed with cattails. Ian James,, "How a trickle of water is breathing life into the parched Colorado River Delta," 19 Apr. 2020 Joe Biden is a vain, shallow, dishonest, foolish, self-serving, cynical, exploitative, dim old coot. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Joe Biden’s Coronavirus Disappearing Act," 1 Apr. 2020 On someone else this fate might be a crusher, but Sportcoat is the type of stubborn coot on whom doom roosts lightly, if at all. Junot Díaz, New York Times, "James McBride’s ‘Deacon King Kong’ Is a Supercharged Urban Farce Lit Up by Thunderbolts of Rage," 29 Feb. 2020 Great egrets and snowy egrets, along with blue herons, and the inevitable coot, seem to be year-round residents. Tom Stienstra,, "80-mile Bay Trail inches closer to reality," 30 Jan. 2020 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

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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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

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