cor·​mo·​rant | \ ˈkȯrm-rənt How to pronounce cormorant (audio) , ˈkȯr-mə-, ˈkȯr-mə-ˌrant \

Definition of cormorant

1 : any of various dark-colored web-footed waterbirds (family Phalacrocoracidae, especially genus Phalacrocorax) that have a long neck, hooked bill, and distensible throat pouch
2 : a gluttonous, greedy, or rapacious person

Illustration of cormorant

Illustration of cormorant

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Examples of cormorant in a Sentence

Diamond Jim Brady was perhaps the most celebrated cormorant of the Gilded Age.
Recent Examples on the Web Marine birds also included mallards, common scoters (a large sea duck), geese, cormorants, gannets, shags, auks, egrets and loons. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "European Neanderthals ate fresh seafood, which may have given their brains a boost," 26 Mar. 2020 Otters and sea lions bask on the jetty; pumpkin orange sea stars are visible in the clear water, and cormorants and gulls circle above the rock. Dallas News, "Beyond Yosemite: Four state parks to seek out off the beaten vacation path," 4 May 2020 There weren’t any cormorants perched on the rocks—a sign that the fish hadn’t arrived in numbers yet—but the sight of all that tan water sliding by was reassuring. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "Fishing for Grace in the Age of Social Distancing," 16 Apr. 2020 The island, located 620 miles east of mainland Ecuador, is home to a number of species, including iguanas, penguins, flightless cormorants and rats. Fox News, "Galapagos volcano eruption spews lava on uninhabited island, photos show," 15 Jan. 2020 The little rocky outpost is a sanctuary for a number of bird species with vulnerable populations, including great black-backed and herring gulls, as well as cormorants and shags. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Why sea birds regurgitated thousands of rubber bands on an uninhabited British island," 23 Oct. 2019 Common and Roseate Terns, as well as other species that include American Oystercatchers, Northern Gannets and cormorants, all depend on those types of forage fish, experts said. Gregory B. Hladky,, "Climate change has pushed Long Island Sound and its birds to "the edge of major, hard-to-predict changes,” reports says," 5 Dec. 2019 About 5 percent of surviving ducks and a third of living pelicans/cormorants ‘‘show some sign of injury or impaired movement.’’ The storm packed 3-inch hail and winds gusting to 74 miles per hour. Matthew Cappucci,, "Montana hailstorm slaughters 11,000 birds," 21 Aug. 2019 Their enclosures are located on a trail that continues onto a wetland observation deck overlooking water-treatment ponds that attract storks, cormorants and anhingas. Bonnie Gross,, "Where the wildlife are: South Florida sanctuaries that rehab animals worth a visit," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cormorant.' 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 cormorant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cormorant

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

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Time Traveler for cormorant

Time Traveler

The first known use of cormorant was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Cormorant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for cormorant



English Language Learners Definition of cormorant

: a type of dark-colored bird that has a long neck and that eats fish that it catches in the ocean


cor·​mo·​rant | \ ˈkȯr-mə-rənt How to pronounce cormorant (audio) \

Kids Definition of cormorant

: a black seabird with webbed feet, a long neck, and a slender hooked beak

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