from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several dark-gray aquatic birds of the genus Fulica of North America and Europe, having a black head and neck, lobed toes, and a white bill.
  • n. See scoter.
  • n. Informal An eccentric or crotchety person, especially an eccentric old man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various aquatic birds of the genus Fulica that are mainly black with a prominent frontal shield on the forehead.
  • n. A stupid fellow; a simpleton
  • n. A success; something excellent.
  • n. Body louse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A wading bird with lobate toes, of the genus Fulica. The common European or bald coot is Fulica atra (see under bald); the American is Fulica Americana
  • n. The surf duck or scoter. In the United States all the species of (Œdemia are called coots. See scoter.
  • n. A stupid fellow; a simpleton.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A lobiped grallatorial and natatorial bird, of the genus Fulica and family Rallidæ, having the toes broadly lobate, the culmen of the bill extended on the front as a boss or casque, short wings, a very short, cocked-up tail, or bobtail, and thick and duck-like plumage on the under surface of the body.
  • n. The foolish guillemot, Lomviatroile.
  • n. A scoter; one of the large black sea-ducks of the genera (Edemia, Pelionetta, and Melanetta.
  • n. A simpleton; a silly fellow.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. slate-black slow-flying birds somewhat resembling ducks


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English coote, possibly from Middle Dutch coet.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A name given to the guillemot. --Dr. Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary and Supplement, 1841.

    May 10, 2011

  • Received this in the title to a delightful spam e-mail message, used as a decoy word I presume. It said "Future? wigeon, coot".

    Also used to name a hotel suite in Four Pillars, Gloucestershire. Since it can be also used in the derogatory combination 'old coot' (referring to a woman past middle age), this didn't strike me as enticing.

    February 19, 2010

  • Usually have few feathers on their heads - "as bald as a coot".

    June 17, 2008