Albatross – Definition & Meaning

Albatross is a word that has been used in literature, poetry, and music for centuries. It is a bird that has a special place in the hearts of many people. The word albatross has a deep meaning and has been used in various contexts. In this article, we will explore the definition, origin, meaning, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences of albatross.


Albatross is a large seabird that belongs to the family Diomedeidae. It has a wingspan of up to 11 feet, making it one of the largest birds in the world. The albatross is known for its ability to fly long distances and for its strong sense of loyalty to its mate.
In literature, the word albatross is often used to describe a burden or a curse that a person carries with them. This meaning comes from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which the mariner shoots an albatross and is cursed for his actions.


The word albatross comes from the Spanish word “alcatraz,” which means pelican. The word was later changed to “albatross” by English sailors who encountered the bird on their voyages.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, albatross means “a large web-footed seabird that has long narrow wings and is noted for its ability to fly long distances.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines albatross as “a very large oceanic bird of the southern hemisphere, with long narrow wings and a hooked beak.”


The albatross is associated with freedom, loyalty, and endurance. It is also associated with the ocean and the vastness of the sea. In literature, the albatross is often used as a symbol of burden or curse.


Some synonyms of albatross include seabird, pelican, and gull.


There are no direct antonyms of albatross, but the opposite of the burden or curse associated with the word could be freedom or release.

The same root words

There are no direct root words associated with albatross, but the word “alcatraz” is related to the Spanish word for prison.

Example Sentences

  1. The albatross soared above the waves, its wingspan stretching out as far as the eye could see.
  2. The sailor felt like he was carrying an albatross around his neck after he made a mistake that cost his crew dearly.
  3. The ancient mariner in Coleridge’s poem was cursed after he shot an albatross that had been following his ship.
  4. The albatross is a symbol of loyalty in many cultures, as it mates for life and will often wait for its partner for years if they become separated.
  5. The albatross is one of the most fascinating birds in the world, with its ability to fly for months without touching down on land.
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