Word of the Day Archive
Monday March 16, 2009
cormorant \KOR-mur-unt; -muh-rant\ , noun:
1. Any species of Phalacrocorax, a genus of sea birds having a sac under the beak; the shag. Cormorants devour fish voraciously, and have become the emblem of gluttony. They are generally black, and hence are called sea ravens, and coalgeese.
2. A gluttonous, greedy, or rapacious person.
Coleridge was precocious and from the first displayed a voracious appetite for books. He later characterised himself as "a library cormorant."
-- Kathleen Jones, A Passionate Sisterhood
Anthony regarded Northwick as a 'cormorant who was eating us up'.
-- Richard Mullen, "Trollope and the Pious Slippers of Cheltenham", Contemporary Review, February 2001
Cormorant comes from Old French cormareng, "raven of the sea," from corb, "raven" (from Latin corvus) + marenc, "of the sea" (from Latin marinus, from mare, "sea").