cor·​mo·​rant | \ ˈkȯrm-rənt, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of cormorant in a Sentence

Diamond Jim Brady was perhaps the most celebrated cormorant of the Gilded Age.

Recent Examples on the Web

From his fishing boat, early on a recent morning, Mr. Diagne pointed to what was left of his former village: a few ruins on the shore, and a sunken tree covered with cormorants that used to be in the town square. Aurelien Breeden, New York Times, "‘Wrath of Coastal Erosion’ Is Devouring a Senegal Fishing Hub," 23 May 2018 Look out on the cliffs below the trail for breeding pelagic and Brandt’s cormorants, as well as the lonely northern gannet. Jill K. Robinson,, "5 places to spot birds in Half Moon Bay," 12 July 2018 But for Okeechobee County’s credit, the path offers a serene stretch to take in the expansive views and enjoy Florida’s avian population including bald eagles, cormorants, ibis, egret and more. Richard Tribou,, "Explore Florida's Okeechobee County: Tackling the Big O scenic trail," 6 May 2018 Visitors may spot snowy egrets, great blue herons, banded cormorants, wood storks, black vultures and anhingas – a.k.a. Dewayne Bevil,, "Gatorland becomes bird land, and photographers flock there," 7 Apr. 2018 Each day consists of 90-minute tours leaving 8-11 a.m. with Audubon docents to learn about (and spot) herons, egrets, osprey and cormorants, among others. San Francisco Chronicle, "Lake County events a blend of wine, wings and water," 3 Apr. 2018 Cruise among the ducks, geese, and cormorants, then walk the pond path before skipping over to Centre Street for imaginative cocktails and an intimate dinner at Ten Tables (reservations recommended)., "30 great dates in Boston and beyond," 22 Mar. 2018 Wood that drifts into estuaries becomes perches for hungry bald eagles and herons; rafts for weary cormorants, pelicans, and seals; and nurseries for herring eggs. Brian Payton, Smithsonian, "How Driftwood Reshapes Ecosystems," 9 Feb. 2018 Scientists believe penguins descended from cormorants, a group of aquatic birds that persist today, and later evolved and spread. National Geographic, "Human-Size Penguin Fossils Discovered," 13 Dec. 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cormorant

Dictionary Entries near cormorant








Statistics for cormorant

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cormorant

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of cormorant

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cormorant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cormorant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cormorant

Spanish Central: Translation of cormorant

Nglish: Translation of cormorant for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cormorant

Comments on cormorant

What made you want to look up cormorant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!