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.
- 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;as : al-, the + ġa&tlowdot;&tlowdot;as, diver, sea eagle (from ġa&tlowdot;asa, to plunge, dive; see ġ&tlowdot;s 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 .
(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.