Definition of albatross noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈælbətrɒs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈælbətrɔːs//
    , NAmE//ˈælbətrɑːs//
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  1. 1 a very large white bird with long wings that lives in the Pacific and Southern Oceans See related entries: Birds
  2. 2[usually singular] (formal) a thing that causes problems or prevents you from doing something The national debt is an albatross around the president’s neck.
  3. Word Originlate 17th cent.: alteration (influenced by Latin albus ‘white’) of 16th-cent. alcatras, applied to various seabirds including the frigate bird and pelican, from Spanish and Portuguese alcatraz, from Arabic al-ġaṭṭās ‘the diver’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: albatross