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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

... PICKING ONE "OFF THE TAIL" The German Albatross airplane going down in flames was in pursuit of the light British "Quick" machine seen on the left, when suddenly a British Nieuport (at the right) dived through the clouds. The Albatross nose-dived, the British following with ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... sort of swift car to throw them into the air, but such a car was efficient in any open place clear of high buildings or trees. Human aeronautics, Graham perceived, were evidently still a long way behind the instinctive gift of the albatross or the fly-catcher. One great influence that might have brought the aeropile to a more rapid perfection had been withheld; these inventions had never been used in warfare. The last great international struggle had occurred before the usurpation of ...
— When the Sleeper Wakes • Herbert George Wells

... But this did not continue: it fell calm, and remained so for nearly three days, during which not a breath of wind was to be seen on the wide expanse of water; all nature appeared as if in repose, except that now and then an albatross would drop down at some distance from the stern of the vessel, and, as he swam lazily along with his wings half-furled, pick up the fragments of food which had been thrown over ...
— Masterman Ready • Captain Marryat

... following the change of the course to the north were uneventful, only marked by an occasional success of the naturalists in obtaining a fresh specimen, some of which were experimented on by the cook; an albatross, skinned, soaked all night in salt water, was stewed, served with savoury sauce, and was preferred to salt pork; a cuttle-fish of large size, freshly killed by the birds, and too much damaged for classification, ...
— The Life of Captain James Cook • Arthur Kitson

... S. lat. and very much to the west. We have had all sorts of weather—some beautiful, some very rough, but always contrary winds—and got within 200 miles of the coast of South America. We now have a milder breeze from the SOFT N.E., after a BITTER S.W., with Cape pigeons and mollymawks (a small albatross), not to compare with our gulls. We had private theatricals last night—ill acted, but beautifully got up as far as the sailors were concerned. I did not act, as I did not feel well enough, but I put a bit for Neptune into the Prologue and made the boatswain's mate speak ...
— Letters from the Cape • Lady Duff Gordon

... their cranes—the two parts of the wrecked boat having been previously secured by her—and then hoisting everything to her side, and stacking her canvas high up, and sideways outstretching it with stun-sails, like the double-jointed wings of an albatross; the Pequod bore down in the leeward wake of Moby Dick. At the well known, methodic intervals, the whale's glittering spout was regularly announced from the manned mast-heads; and when he would be reported as ...
— Great Sea Stories • Various

... next day he "saw some white birds about the size of pigeons, with blackish bills and feet. I never saw any such before."[2] These must have been Snowy Petrel. Passing through many bergs, where he notices how the albatross left them and penguins appeared, he was brought up by thick pack ice along which he coasted. Under the supposition that this ice was formed in bays and rivers Cook was led to believe that land was not far distant. Incidentally he remarks that in order to enable his men to support the colder ...
— The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2 - Antarctic 1910-1913 • Apsley Cherry-Garrard

... know it, and wheeling albatross, Where the lone wave fills with fire beneath the Southern Cross. What is the Flag of England? Ye have but my reefs to dare, Ye have but my seas to furrow. Go forth, ...
— Poems Every Child Should Know - The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library • Various

... bird, which is a remarkable occurrence, for I never saw the latter bird before so far without the tropic; but here was one nearly five hundred miles to the southward of it, and at least three hundred leagues from the nearest land; an albatross (Diomedea exulans, Linn.) was shot, but did not measure more than nine feet nine inches across the tips ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2] • Phillip Parker King

... lying among the creases of the canvas, are a handspike, a pair of boat oars, and an axe. Nothing more is perceptible of the raft, even to the keen eye of the albatross. ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... after years that the suggestion for the poem came from a dream of a phantom ship told to Coleridge by a friend, and that he (Wordsworth) proposed the shooting of the albatross, the revenge of the "tutelary spirits," and the "navigation of the ship by the dead men," and contributed the fourth stanza of the poem and the last two lines of the first stanza of Part IV. He had been reading Shelvocke's "Voyages," a book in which he had found a ...
— Coleridge's Ancient Mariner and Select Poems • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... unless it should be a sportsman to shoot grouse or an antiquary to decipher runes, the presence of these small pedestrians struck the mind as though a bird-of-paradise had risen from the heather or an albatross come fishing in the bay of Wick. They were as strange to their surroundings as my lordly evangelist or the old Spanish ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... few books on Antarctic exploration, a copy of Browning and one of "The Ancient Mariner." On reading the latter, we sympathized with him and wondered what he had done with the albatross; it would have made a very ...
— South! • Sir Ernest Shackleton

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

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