albatross [al-buh-traws, -tros]
1. any of several large, web-footed sea birds of the family Diomedeidae that have the ability to remain aloft for long periods.
Compare wandering albatross.
2. a seemingly inescapable moral or emotional burden, as of guilt or responsibility.
3. something burdensome that impedes action or progress.
a. a lightweight worsted fabric with a crepe or pebble finish.
b. a plain-weave cotton fabric with a soft nap surface.
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Origin: 1675-85; variant of algatross frigate bird < Portuguese alcatraz pelican, probably < Arabic al-ghaṭṭāṣ a kind of sea eagle, literally, the diver; -b- for -g- perhaps by association with Latin albus white (the bird's color)
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