little-egret

little egret

noun
See under egret ( def 1 ).
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egret

[ee-grit, eg-rit, ee-gret, ee-gret]
noun
1.
any of several usually white herons that grow long, graceful plumes during the breeding season, as Egretta garzetta (little egret) of the Old World.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English egret(e) < Anglo-French egret (compare Middle French égreste, aigrette), alteration (with -on exchanged for -et -et) of dialectal Old French aigron < Germanic; see heron

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World English Dictionary
egret (ˈiːɡrɪt)
 
n
See also aigrette any of various wading birds of the genera Egretta, Hydranassa, etc, that are similar to herons but usually have a white plumage and, in the breeding season, long feathery plumes: family Ardeidae, order Ciconiiformes
 
[C15: from Old French aigrette, from Old Provençal aigreta, from aigron heron, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German heigaroheron]

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Word Origin & History

egret
c.1353, from O.Fr. aigrette, from O.Prov. aigreta, dim. of aigron "heron," probably of Gmc. origin (cf. O.H.G. heigaro; see heron).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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