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PIE word

From Middle English cormeraunt (great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo); other types of aquatic bird) [and other forms],[1] from Old French cormaran, cor-maraunt [and other forms] (modern French cormoran), possibly variants of *corp-marin, from Medieval Latin corvus marīnus (literally sea-raven), with the ending -morant possibly derived from French moran (marine, maritime), from Breton mor (sea), with -an corrupted in English to -ant.[2] Latin corvus is ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *ḱorh₂wós (raven), which is imitative of the harsh cry of the bird; while marīnus (of or pertaining to the sea, marine) is from Latin mare (sea) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *móri (sea; standing water), possibly from *mer- (sea; lake; wetland)) + -īnus (suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’).



cormorant (plural cormorants)

  1. Any of various medium-large black seabirds of the family Phalacrocoracidae which dive into water for fish and other aquatic animals, found throughout the world except for islands in the centre of the Pacific Ocean; specifically, the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo).
    Synonyms: (obsolete) corvorant, (UK dialectal) norie, sea crow, sea raven
  2. (figuratively, also attributively, archaic or obsolete) A voracious eater; also, a person who, or thing which, is aggressively greedy for wealth, etc.
    (voracious eater): Synonyms: glutton; see also Thesaurus:glutton


Derived terms[edit]



cormorant (comparative more cormorant, superlative most cormorant)

  1. (archaic or obsolete) Voracious; aggressively greedy.
    • 1830, Boston Masonic Mirror, page 398:
      Anti-masonry is as cormorant as death, and will not be satisfied though one half the human race be immolated to appease its infernal appetite.
    • 1842, Weekly Globe, page 261:
      ... the victims of fanaticism who frequent Exeter Hall, to be plucked by tax gatherers more cormorant than your own excise-men at home?

See also[edit]


  1. ^ cormeraunt, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ cormorant, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021; “cormorant, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]