(Science: ornithology) a web-footed bird, of the genus Diomedea, of which there are several species. They are the largest of sea birds, capable of long-continued flight, and are often seen at great distances from the land. They are found chiefly in the southern hemisphere.
Origin: Corrupt. Fr. Pg. Alcatraz cormorant, albatross, or sp. Alcatraz a pelican: cf. Pg. Alcatruz, sp. Arcaduz, a bucket, fr. Ar. Al-qadus the bucket, fr. Gr. Kados, a water vessel. So an arabic term for pelican is water-carrier, as a bird carrying water in its pouch.