Definition of cormorant in English:



  • A rather large diving bird with a long neck, long hooked bill, short legs, and mainly dark plumage. It typically breeds on coastal cliffs.

    Genus Phalacrocorax (and Nannopterum), family Phalacrocoracidae: numerous species, in particular the widespread (great) cormorant (P. carbo)

    • ‘Around the rocky shores sea birds such as gulls, terns, cormorants, gannets and puffins nested in the cliffs and dunes.’
    • ‘Ducks, coots, teals, terns, gulls, cormorants, waders, egrets, plovers and herons are some of the birds that assemble here.’
    • ‘Various kittiwakes, puffins, cormorants and gulls are common birds found here.’
    • ‘This hypothesis is supported by correlative and experimental evidence from various species such as kittiwakes, cormorants, house wrens, cliff swallows, and collared flycatchers.’
    • ‘We were extremely fortunate that the cormorants were in breeding plumage.’
    • ‘Some anhingids breed in colonies alongside cormorants or herons.’
    • ‘They are preyed on by herons, cormorants, kingfishers, goosanders, large trout and eels.’
    • ‘Seabirds like pelicans, penguins, and cormorants are highly vulnerable to oil, which can cover their feathers with a gluelike substance that can immobilize the animals.’
    • ‘The northwards path along a rocky coastline takes you to Dunstanburgh Castle, a romantic ruin where kittiwakes, cormorants and fulmars nest on whinstone cliffs.’
    • ‘We had seen guillemots, gannets, razorbills, puffins and cormorants by the time we reached the first of the four shipwrecks we would dive over this weekend.’
    • ‘The lines of supporting buoys have been adopted by cormorants, gulls, guillemots, eider ducks, oystercatchers and even the odd heron.’
    • ‘The double-crested cormorant is a black bird with a long neck, long bill, hooked on the end, and long tail.’
    • ‘Brandt's Cormorants, like other cormorants, are colonial nesters.’
    • ‘Although it is widely regarded as a coastal and sea bird, the cormorant can now be found in ever-increasing numbers at lakes and gravel pits in Britain.’
    • ‘One practice entails tethering cormorants by the neck, pulling them back to the boat after they successfully procure fish, then extracting the fish from the bird.’
    • ‘Avian swimmers such as penguins and puffins and ducks and cormorants, as well as sea turtles and other water-dwelling reptiles, must also come up for air.’
    • ‘The sky is busy with gulls and the exposed sands and stones are playgrounds to coastal waders, including oyster catchers, cormorants and sandpipers.’
    • ‘Writing soon after the turn of the century in Nature in Eastern Norfolk, Arthur Patterson considered the cormorant as ‘rather rare’.’
    • ‘Each January, FWC participants comb New York State lakes, rivers and shorelines to count ducks, geese, and swans as well as associated water birds like loons, grebes, cormorants, and coots.’
    • ‘This year, the zoo has received nearly 500 painted storks and cormorants, local migratory birds that have come in from nearby States.’


Middle English: from Old French cormaran, from medieval Latin corvus marinus ‘sea raven’. The final -t is on the pattern of words such as peasant.