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2 definitions found
 for albatross
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Albatross \Al"ba*tross\, n. [Corrupt. fr. Pg. alcatraz
     cormorant, albatross, or Sp. alcatraz a pelican: cf. Pg.
     alcatruz, Sp. arcaduz, a bucket, fr. Ar. al-q[=a]dus the
     bucket, fr. Gr. ka`dos, a water vessel. So an Arabic term for
     pelican is water-carrier, as a bird carrying water in its
     pouch.] (Zool.)
     A web-footed bird, of the genus Diomedea, of which there
     are several species. They are the largest of sea birds,
     capable of long-continued flight, and are often seen at great
     distances from the land. They are found chiefly in the
     southern hemisphere.
     [1913 Webster] Albe

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: (figurative) something that hinders or handicaps; "she was
           an albatross around his neck" [syn: albatross,
      2: large web-footed birds of the southern hemisphere having long
         narrow wings; noted for powerful gliding flight [syn:
         albatross, mollymawk]

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