American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several large web-footed birds constituting the family Diomedeidae, chiefly of the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, and having a hooked beak and long narrow wings.
- n. A constant, worrisome burden.
- n. An obstacle to success.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A web-footed sea-bird of the petrel family, Procellariidæ, and subfamily Diomedeinæ. About 12 species of albatross are known, all except the sooty albatross, Phæbetria juliginosa, belonging to the genus Diomedea. They are distinguished as a group from other birds of the petrel family by having the hind toe rudimentary, and the tubular nostrils separated, one on each side of the base of the upper mandible. The bill is stout and hooked at the end, the wings are very long, the tail and feet short, and the stature is very great. Albatrosses inhabit the southern seas at large, and the whole Pacific ocean, but not the northern Atlantic. Some of them are the largest known sea-birds, and all are noted for their powers of flight, sailing for hours, and in any direction with reference to the wind, without visible movement of the wings. They nest on the ground, and lay a single white egg. They are very voracious, may be caught with a hook and line baited with pork, and when taken on board a vessel are observed to walk with difficulty. One of the commonest and best-known species is the wandering albatross, D. exulans; it is also the largest species, having a stretch of wings of about 12 feet—an assigned dimension of 17½ feet being either a great exaggeration or highly exceptional. This bird is mostly white, with dark markings on the upper parts, flesh-colored feet, and a yellow bill. The short-tailed albatross, D. brachyura, is a related but smaller species. It goes far north in the Pacific ocean, where is also found the black-footed albatross, D. nigripes of Audubon. The yellow-nosed albatross is D. chlororhynchus, to which another species, D. culminata, is closely related; these, and D. melanophrys, are among the smaller species, and of about the size of the sooty albatross. The latter is wholly dark-colored. From their habit of following ships for days together without resting, albatrosses are regarded with feelings of attachment and superstitious awe by sailors, it being considered unlucky to kill one. Coleridge has availed himself of this feeling in his “Ancient Mariner.” Also spelled
albatros, and in New Latin form albatrus, as either a generic or a specific designation.
- n. A thin untwilled woolen material used for women's dresses.
- n. Any of various large seabirds of the family Diomedeidae ranging widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific and having a hooked beak and long narrow wings.
- n. golf A double eagle, or three under par on any one hole.
- n. idiomatic A long-term impediment, burden, or curse.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A web-footed bird, of the genus Diomedea, of which there are several species. They are the largest of sea birds, capable of long-continued flight, and are often seen at great distances from the land. They are found chiefly in the southern hemisphere.
- n. large web-footed birds of the southern hemisphere having long narrow wings; noted for powerful gliding flight
- n. (figurative) something that hinders or handicaps
- An alteration of Portuguese word alcatraz ("gannet"), under influence of the Latin word albus ("white"); alcatraz comes from Arabic القطرس (al-qaṭrās', "sea eagle"). (Wiktionary)
- Probably alteration (influenced by Latin albus, white) of alcatras, pelican, from Portuguese or Spanish alcatraz, from Arabic al-ġaṭṭās : al-, the + ġaṭṭās, diver, sea eagle (from ġaṭasa, to plunge, dive; see ġṭs in Semitic roots). Sense 2, after the albatross in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which the mariner killed and had to wear around his neck as a penance. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Mason says, if elected, he would do a better job in fighting corruption, which he describes as the albatross that has been hanging around the neck of Liberia.”
“BASH (voice-over): Those prejudices led to what he calls his albatross, briefly joining the Ku Klux Klan.”
“Together we will forever destroy America and this Healthcare albatross is just the start.”
“Whether this trope works organically to advance the plot or becomes an authorial albatross is beside the point; as in Kafka, whose sentences Krauss's bear an intentional stylistic resemblance to, or such neo-realistic films as Fellini's Nights of Cabiria, "Great House" builds more toward developing a theme than a plot.”
“Right now we are waiting to find out what our little albatross is going to cost us ....”
“His real albatross is that he never has come back to win a major while trailing after 54 holes.”
“S. O'BRIEN: How much -- I mean is the word albatross too heavy handed to use here?”
“They are silent enough generally' – for the voice of the albatross is rarely heard at sea.”
“Mason also said Sirleaf has failed to fight corruption, which he described as the albatross around Liberia’s neck.”
“Keith's note: It is certainly interesting to note that Mike Griffin is now such an ISS fan given the dismissive attitude that he and his inner staff the "Band of Brothers" often had for this "albatross" - a term they used in staff meetings.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘albatross’.
The words on this list SAT regulars that I haven't sorted and grouped yet. It's like my wordy holding pen. get it? holding the pen to write a word? HA! I love how lame my humor is.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Arabic loanwords in English are words acquired directly from Arabic or else indirectly by passing from Arabic into other languages and then into English. Most entered one or more of the Romance lan...
birds with singular names from
at least 9 English dictionaries
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Nice ambient words from the movie. (With apologies to Patrick O'Brian.) Aaaah, life at sea...aboard a hulk of the British navy in 1805...
The new favourite words of people on Twitter.
A script searches Twitter for "X is my new favourite word" and adds it to this list.
thunderfuck, incredible, merp, sara, flopparoo, smother, fugly, buer, plum, canny, nefelibata, cuntbucket and 1972 more...
Looking for tweets for albatross.