any aquatic bird of the genus Fulica, as F. americana, of North America, and F. atra, of the Old World, characterized by lobate toes and short wings and tail.
any of various other swimming or diving birds, especially the scoters.
Informal. a foolish or crotchety person, especially one who is old.

1250–1300; Middle English cote; cognate with Dutch koet Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coot (kuːt)
1.  any aquatic bird of the genus Fulica, esp F. atra of Europe and Asia, having lobed toes, dark plumage, and a white bill with a frontal shield: family Rallidae (rails, crakes, etc)
2.  a foolish person, esp an old man (often in the phrase old coot)
[C14: probably from Low German; compare Dutch koet]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, cote, used for various water fowl (now limited to Fulica atra and, in North America, F. americana), of uncertain origin (cf. Du. meercoet "lake coot"). Meaning "silly person, fool" is attested from 1766.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
As perpetually optimistic grumpy old coot, this tops it.
And the underlying cravings of the old coot are thereby distorted and confused.
The waitress, tough coot that she is, got here by snowmobile.
One coot had multifocal pinpoint white foci on the mesentery and on thoracic
  and abdominal air sacs.
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