An albatross in flight.
- Albatross is defined as guilt or a burden.
Cheating on one's wife and carrying around the secret for decades is an example of something that could become an albatross.
- The definition of an albatross is a sea bird characterized by their webbed feet, long and slender wings and their ability to remain in the air for a long time.
The bird in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is an example of an albatross.
nounpl. -·tross·es or -·tross·
- any of a family (Diomedeidae) of large, web-footed tubenose birds found chiefly in the South Seas: they have long, narrow wings and a long, hooked beak
Origin of albatrossfrom use of the bird as a symbol of guilt in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” poem (1798) by Coleridge a burden or source of distress, esp. one that impairs effective action: often in the phrase an albatross around one's neck
Origin of albatrossaltered, probably influenced, influence by Classical Latin albus, white from Spanish alcatraz, literally , pelican from Port, pelican, origin, originally , bucket from Arabic al q?d?s, water-wheel basket, scoop from Classical Greek kados, cask, jar; probably from Classical Hebrew (language) kad, water jug: so named from the former belief that the birds carried water in their beaks
nounpl. albatross, or al·ba·tross·es
- 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.
- a. A source of worry or distress.b. An obstacle to success. See Synonyms at burden.
Origin of albatrossProbably alteration ( influenced by Latin albus white ) of alcatras pelican from Portuguese or Spanish alcatraz from Arabic al-ġa&tlowdot;&tlowdot;ās al- the ġa&tlowdot;&tlowdot;ās diver, sea eagle ( from ġa&tlowdot;asa to plunge, dive ġ&tlowdot;s) 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
(plural albatross or albatrosses)
- The "long-term impediment" sense is derived from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, from the seabird.