from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several waterbirds of the widely distributed genus Fulica, having dark-gray plumage, a black head and neck, and a white bill.
  • noun Derogatory An eccentric or crotchety person, especially an old man.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The foolish guillemot, Lomviatroile.
  • noun A scoter; one of the large black sea-ducks of the genera (Edemia, Pelionetta, and Melanetta.
  • noun A simpleton; a silly fellow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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
  • noun The surf duck or scoter. In the United States all the species of (Œdemia are called coots. See scoter.
  • noun colloq. A stupid fellow; a simpleton.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun 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.]


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

    June 17, 2008

  • 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

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

    May 10, 2011