• (America) IPA: /ˈkɔɹməɹənt/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈkɔːməɹənt/

cormorant (plural cormorants)

  1. Any of various medium-large black seabirds of the family Phalacrocoracidae, especially the great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 4, lines 194-196,
      Thence up he [Satan] flew, and on the Tree of Life,
      The middle Tree and highest there that grew,
      Sat like a Cormorant;
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, London: Smith, Elder, Volume 1, Chapter 13, p. 242,
      One gleam of light lifted into relief a half-submerged mast, on which sat a cormorant, dark and large, with wings flecked with foam;
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula, New York: Grosset and Dunlap, Chapter 9, pp. 100-101,
      The strong air […] has quite restored me. I have an appetite like a cormorant, am full of life, and sleep well.
    • 1987, Nadine Gordimer, A Sport of Nature, New York: Knopf, “Intelligence,” p. 139,
      A man was swimming out towards them, his flailing arms black and defined in the heat-hazy radiance as the wings of a cormorant that skimmed the water.
  2. (obsolete) A voracious eater.
    Synonyms: glutton; see also Thesaurus:glutton
    • circa 1595 William Shakespeare, Richard II (play), Act II, Scene 1,
      With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
      Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
      Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
    • 1725, Alexander Pope (translator), The Odyssey or Homer, London: Bernard Lintot, Volume 1, Book 1, pp. 13-14, lines 207-210,
      His treasur’d stores these Cormorants consume,
      Whose bones, defrauded of a regal tomb
      And common turf, lie naked on the plain,
      Or doom’d to welter in the whelming main.
Translations Adjective


  1. Ravenous, greedy.
    • William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, Act I, Scene 1
      Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
      Live regist'red upon our brazen tombs,
      And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
      When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
      The endeavour of this present breath may buy
      That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
      And make us heirs of all eternity.

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