1. Any of several waterbirds of the widely distributed genus Fulica, having dark-gray plumage, a black head and neck, and often a white bill.
2. See scoter.
3. Derogatory An eccentric or crotchety person, especially an old man.
[Middle English cote, from Middle Dutch kuut, koet, of unknown origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.