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Albatross   /ˈælbətrˌɑs/   Listen

(figurative) something that hinders or handicaps.  Synonym: millstone.
Large web-footed birds of the southern hemisphere having long narrow wings; noted for powerful gliding flight.  Synonym: mollymawk.

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"Albatross" Quotes from Famous Books

... where the wide-winged albatross Floats white 'neath the Southern Cross, There came the swift cruisers, And Germans are losers; ...
— War Rhymes • Abner Cosens

... see," she said, "the Islands Of the Albatross and Beaver? By another name you call them. One is crested by a prison, Grim and somber, melancholy; One is gay with flags and bunting, Ringing with the martial music Of your sailor boys in training; Yet, if you observe them closely, You will see in one the profile ...
— The Legends of San Francisco • George W. Caldwell

... don't think Mr. Peter Reid was kind, though perhaps he meant to be. Jean is such a conscientious, anxious pilgrim at any time, and I'm afraid the wealth will hang round her neck like the Ancient Mariner's albatross. ...
— Penny Plain • Anna Buchan (writing as O. Douglas)

... insects, are naturally not well adapted to live far from dry land. Even Seals, though some of them make remarkable migrations, remain habitually near the shore. Whales alone are specially modified so as to make the wide ocean their home. Of birds the greatest wanderer is the Albatross, which has such powers of flight that it is said even to sleep ...
— The Beauties of Nature - and the Wonders of the World We Live In • Sir John Lubbock

... glorious estate. Oh, what a fall was there! It was the fall of innocence and purity; it was the fall of happiness into the abyss of woe; it was the fall of life into the arms of death. It was like the fall of the wounded albatross, from the regions of light, into the sea; it was like the fall of a star from heaven to hell. When the jasper gate forever closed behind the guilty pair, and the flaming sword of the Lord mounted guard over the barred portal, the whole life-current of the human race was shifted into another channel; ...
— Gov. Bob. Taylor's Tales • Robert L. Taylor

... realisation of the serpentine element in Geraldine's nature; and in The Ancient Mariner, whose fate is interwoven with that of the wonderful bird, at whose blessing of the water-snakes the curse for the death of the albatross passes away, and where the moral of the love of all creatures, as a sort of religious ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... was no more than 23 deg. 52' W. In this situation we saw some penguins; and being near an island of ice from which several pieces had broken, we hoisted out two boats, and took on board as much as filled all our empty casks, and the Adventure did the same. While this was doing, Mr Forster shot an albatross, whose plumage was of a colour between brown and dark-grey, the head and upper side of the wings rather inclining to black, and it had white eye-brows. We began to see these birds about the time of our first falling in with the ice islands; and some have accompanied us ever since. These, ...
— A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World, Volume 1 • James Cook

... an Albatross, Thorough the Fog it came; And an it were a Christian Soul, We hail'd it in ...
— Lyrical Ballads 1798 • Wordsworth and Coleridge

... feature of the southern seas is the multitude of birds which inhabit it. Huge albatrosses, molimorks (a smaller albatross), Cape hens, Cape pigeons, parsons, boobies, whale birds, mutton birds, and many more, wheel continually about the ship's stern, sometimes in dozens, sometimes in scores, always in considerable numbers. If a person takes two pieces of ...
— A First Year in Canterbury Settlement • Samuel Butler

... me, Rollins, but the first thing I'll be running foul of some of these Dagos, and I don't want a fracas until I see the lay of the old man. He's a queer one for sure, hey? Did you ever see a skipper with such a look? Sech bleeding eyes—an' nose, hey? Like the beak of an old albatross. He hasn't come out to lay the course yet, but let her go. She'll head within half a point of what she's doin' now. Sink me, but I don't believe there's three bloomin' beggars in my watch as can steer the craft, and she's got a new wheel gear on her too. Call me if the old man comes on deck." ...
— Mr. Trunnell • T. Jenkins Hains

... Everybody on Long Island knows that there is a warm current off the coast, but nobody imagined it was merely a sort of backwater from the Gulf Stream that formed a great circular mill-race around the cone of a subterranean volcano, and rejoined the Gulf Stream off Cape Albatross. But it is! That is why papa bought a yacht three years ago and sailed about for two years so mysteriously. Oh, I did want to go with ...
— In Search of the Unknown • Robert W. Chambers

... Lake Poets. It was not Coleridge who had been reading Shelvocke's Voyages, but Wordsworth, and it is quite conceivable, therefore, that the source from which his friend had derived the idea of the killing of the albatross may (if indeed he was informed of it at the time) have escaped his memory twelve years afterwards, when the conversation with De Quincey took place. Hence, in "disowning his obligations to Shelvocke," he may not ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... one or two with a baited hook which we floated astern upon a shingle. Their long, flapping wings, long legs, and large, staring eyes, give them a very peculiar appearance. They look well on the wing; but one of the finest sights that I have ever seen, was an albatross asleep upon the water, during a calm, off Cape Horn, when a heavy sea was running. There being no breeze, the surface of the water was unbroken, but a long, heavy swell was rolling, and we saw the fellow, ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... circular grass plot between the churchyard and the house. It was a lovely still summer evening, and I stayed out, climbing among the chairs and sofas. Falling on a large bone or skull, I asked what it was. Part of an albatross, auntie told me. 'What is an albatross?' I asked, and then she described to me this great bird nearly as big as a house, that you saw out miles away from any land, sleeping above the vast and desolate ocean. She told me that the Ancient Mariner ...
— The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson for Boys and Girls • Jacqueline M. Overton

... animals are numerous, but only during the night. Between latitudes 56 and 57 degrees south of Cape Horn, the net was put astern several times; it never, however, brought up anything besides a few of two extremely minute species of Entomostraca. Yet whales and seals, petrels and albatross, are exceedingly abundant throughout this part of the ocean. It has always been a mystery to me on what the albatross, which lives far from the shore, can subsist; I presume that, like the condor, it ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

Words linked to "Albatross" :   gooney bird, Diomedea nigripes, balk, impediment, goony, gooney, pelagic bird, Diomedea exulans, hindrance, goonie, family Diomedeidae, oceanic bird, handicap, hinderance, check, Diomedeidae, deterrent, baulk

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