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[kawr-mer-uh nt] /ˈkɔr mər ənt/
any of several voracious, totipalmate seabirds of the family Phalacrocoracidae, as Phalacrocorax carbo, of America, Europe, and Asia, having a long neck and a distensible pouch under the bill for holding captured fish, used in China for catching fish.
a greedy person.
1300-50; Middle English cormera(u)nt < Middle French cormorant, Old French cormareng < Late Latin corvus marīnus sea-raven. See corbel, marine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cormorants
  • For many gulf coast gulls, terns and cormorants, this has been a lethal mistake.
  • cormorants spreading their wings on pier pilings and diving for fish.
  • On-site is a resident smithy known for his iron sculptures of cormorants.
  • Visitors can view several types of geese, ducks from pintails to mallards, cormorants and white pelicans.
  • Hikers can view sea mammals such as porpoises, and birds such as cormorants and loons.
  • Visitors sight cormorants, anhingas and songbirds as well as many iguanas.
  • cormorants are known to shift nesting locations between years, so it is difficult to confidently interpret changes in counts.
  • cormorants have short legs and webbed feet for swimming.
  • Most loons hold their bills level while swimming while cormorants hold theirs angled upwards.
  • cormorants are predominately piscivorous or fish eating but they occasionally dine on some invertebrate species as well.
British Dictionary definitions for cormorants


any aquatic bird of the family Phalacrocoracidae, of coastal and inland waters, having a dark plumage, a long neck and body, and a slender hooked beak: order Pelecaniformes (pelicans, etc)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French cormareng, from corp raven, from Latin corvus + -mareng of the sea, from Latin mare sea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cormorants



early 14c., from Old French cormarenc (12c., Modern French cormoran), from Late Latin corvus marinus "sea raven" + Germanic suffix -enc, -ing. The -t in English probably is from confusion with words in -ant. It has a reputation for voracity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cormorants in the Bible

(Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:17), Heb. shalak, "plunging," or "darting down," (the Phalacrocorax carbo), ranked among the "unclean" birds; of the same family group as the pelican. It is a "plunging" bird, and is common on the coasts and the island seas of Palestine. Some think the Hebrew word should be rendered "gannet" (Sula bassana, "the solan goose"); others that it is the "tern" or "sea swallow," which also frequents the coasts of Palestine as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan valley during several months of the year. But there is no reason to depart from the ordinary rendering. In Isa. 34:11, Zeph. 2:14 (but in R.V., "pelican") the Hebrew word rendered by this name is _ka'ath_. It is translated "pelican" (q.v.) in Ps. 102:6. The word literally means the "vomiter," and the pelican is so called from its vomiting the shells and other things which it has voraciously swallowed. (See PELICAN.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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