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

  • n. Any of several fish-eating, diving birds of the genus Gavia of northern regions, having a short tail, webbed feet, and a laughlike cry.
  • n. Informal One who is crazy or deranged.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. idler, lout
  • n. boy, lad
  • n. harlot; mistress
  • n. simpleton; (also (slang)) crazy or deranged person.
  • n. English Soldier of an expeditionary army in Ireland.
  • n. Any of various birds, of the order Gaviiformes, of North America and Europe that dive for fish and have a short tail, webbed feet and a yodeling cry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sorry fellow; a worthless person; a rogue.
  • n. Any one of several aquatic, wed-footed, northern birds of the genus Urinator (formerly Colymbus), noted for their expertness in diving and swimming under water. The common loon, or great northern diver (Urinator imber, or Colymbus torquatus), and the red-throated loon or diver (Urinator septentrionalis), are the best known species. See diver.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A stupid fellow; a clown: with various shades of intensity as an opprobrious epithet, like fool, dolt, etc.
  • n. A four-toed diving bird of the genus Colymbus or Urinator. See Colymbidæ.
  • n. A name used locally for several very different birds: in England, for some of the grebes, including the large Podiceps cristatus and the little dabchick, P. minor; by sailors often in the form loom, for the murre, Lomvia arra.

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

  • n. a worthless lazy fellow
  • n. large somewhat primitive fish-eating diving bird of the northern hemisphere having webbed feet placed far back; related to the grebes
  • n. a person with confused ideas; incapable of serious thought


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

Perhaps alteration of dialectal loom, guillemot, diver, from Old Norse lōmr.
Probably from loon1 (from its loud cry) and influenced by lunatic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from Middle English loun



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

  • "Peace, thou crazy loon," cried the Manxman, seizing him by the arm. "Away from the quarter-deck!"

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 125

    July 31, 2008