WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
al•ba•tross /ˈælbəˌtrɔs, -ˌtrɑs/USA pronunciation   n.[countable]pl.  -tross•es, (esp. when thought of as a group) -tross for 1.
  1. Birdsa large, web-footed, mostly white bird of southern tropical oceanic waters, having a large wingspread and able to remain aloft for long periods.
  2. something burdensome that gets in the way of action or progress:This huge debt is the company's albatross.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
al•ba•tross  (albə trôs′, -tros′),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Birdsany of several large, web-footed sea birds of the family Diomedeidae that have the ability to remain aloft for long periods. Cf. wandering albatross.
  2. a seemingly inescapable moral or emotional burden, as of guilt or responsibility.
  3. something burdensome that impedes action or progress.
  4. Textiles
    • a lightweight worsted fabric with a crepe or pebble finish.
    • a plain-weave cotton fabric with a soft nap surface.
  • Arabic al-ghaṭṭāṣ a kind of sea eagle, literally, the diver; -b- for -g- perh. by association with Latin albus white (the bird's color)
  • Portuguese alcatraz pelican, probably
  • variant of algatross frigate bird 1675–85

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

albatross /ˈælbəˌtrɒs/ n
  1. any large oceanic bird of the genera Diomedea and Phoebetria, family Diomedeidae, of cool southern oceans: order Procellariiformes (petrels). They have long narrow wings and are noted for a powerful gliding flight
    See also wandering albatross
  2. a constant and inescapable burden or handicap
  3. a score of three strokes under par for a hole
Etymology: 17th Century: from Portuguese alcatraz pelican, from Arabic al-ghattās, from al the + ghattās white-tailed sea eagle; influenced by Latin albus white: C20 in sense 2, from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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