\ 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 Other waterfowl, such as the American coot and the northern shoveler, are even more numerous. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Jan. 2022 Five of them — including an American coot and a western gull — have died. Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 Officials found three oiled birds Sunday — a brown pelican, an American coot and a duck. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 Required to hunt any migratory game bird (waterfowl, coot, rail, gallinule, snipe, dove, sandhill crane and woodcock) in combination with a Federal Duck Stamp and HIP Certification for waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 14 Aug. 2021 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, 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, 18 May 2020 Spotted salamanders breed here and night herons roost, alongside coots and grebes. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 13 May 2020 At the Laguna Grande restoration area, American coots bob in open water fringed with cattails. Ian James,, 19 Apr. 2020

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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Dictionary Entries Near coot



Cootamundra wattle

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coot Encyclopedia article about coot


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