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)

    • ‘The double-crested cormorant is a black bird with a long neck, long bill, hooked on the end, and long tail.’
    • ‘Around the rocky shores sea birds such as gulls, terns, cormorants, gannets and puffins nested in the cliffs and dunes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ducks, coots, teals, terns, gulls, cormorants, waders, egrets, plovers and herons are some of the birds that assemble here.’
    • ‘The lines of supporting buoys have been adopted by cormorants, gulls, guillemots, eider ducks, oystercatchers and even the odd heron.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some anhingids breed in colonies alongside cormorants or herons.’
    • ‘This year, the zoo has received nearly 500 painted storks and cormorants, local migratory birds that have come in from nearby States.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We were extremely fortunate that the cormorants were in breeding plumage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This hypothesis is supported by correlative and experimental evidence from various species such as kittiwakes, cormorants, house wrens, cliff swallows, and collared flycatchers.’
    • ‘They are preyed on by herons, cormorants, kingfishers, goosanders, large trout and eels.’
    • ‘Brandt's Cormorants, like other cormorants, are colonial nesters.’
    • ‘Various kittiwakes, puffins, cormorants and gulls are common birds found here.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘The northwards path along a rocky coastline takes you to Dunstanburgh Castle, a romantic ruin where kittiwakes, cormorants and fulmars nest on whinstone cliffs.’
    • ‘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.’


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.