Albatross meaning

ălbə-trôs, -trŏs
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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.

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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.

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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.
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A burden or source of distress, esp. one that impairs effective action.
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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.
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(golf) A double eagle, or three under par on any one hole.
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Any of various large seabirds of the family Diomedeidae ranging widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific and having a hooked beak and long narrow wings.
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(idiomatic) A long-term impediment, burden, or curse.
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Origin of albatross

  • Probably alteration (influenced by Latin albus white) of alcatras pelican from Portuguese or Spanish alcatraz from Arabic al-ġaṭṭās al- the ġaṭṭās diver, sea eagle (from ġaṭasa to plunge, dive ġṭs 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

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • The "long-term impediment" sense is derived from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, from the seabird.

    From Wiktionary