"large, black swimming and diving bird," early 14c., cormeraunt, from Old French cormarenc (12c., Modern French cormoran), from Late Latin corvus marinus "sea raven" + Germanic suffix -enc, -ing. The -t in English probably is from confusion with words in -ant. See corvine + marine (adj.). The birds are proverbially voracious, hence the word was applied to greedy or gluttonous persons (1530s).
updated on April 04, 2018