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

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

Peruvian pelicans are one of three species of guano birds (along with the Peruvian booby and the Guanay cormorant) that populate Peru's coast. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New study takes a bird’s-eye view of the Nasca Lines," 20 June 2019 As the boat passed a small island, an African fish eagle was seen nested near a cacophonous gathering of cormorants. Benedict Moran, National Geographic, "Rwanda's war nearly destroyed this park. Now it's coming back.," 7 May 2019 Seagulls soar overhead, cormorants dive like missiles for fish, ducks paddle bravely near the barnacled rocks and the occasional seal wanders by. James R. Carroll, USA TODAY, "Cape Ann, Massachusetts: A charming alternative to Cape Cod with sandy beaches and fried clams," 3 June 2019 It was moored at the end of a long dock in a busy marina with views of rocks bristling with cormorants, seagulls screeching overhead, and a bevy of ducks that arrived each morning for their share of the toast. Tara Conklin, Vogue, "After Divorce, Floating Another Chance at Love," 6 Feb. 2019 His own love of birds got Vogt a job on the Chincha islands off Peru, where he was supposed to advise the company that owned cormorants on how to get them to increase production of the valuable fertilizer guano. Bill Mckibben, New York Times, "To Respect the Earth’s Limits — or Push Them?," 31 Jan. 2018 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

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

9 Jul 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 How to pronounce cormorant (audio) \

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).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!