[ee-grit, eg-rit, ee-gret, ee-gret] /ˈi grɪt, ˈɛg rɪt, iˈgrɛt, ˈi grɛt/

any of several usually white herons that grow long, graceful plumes during the breeding season, as Egretta garzetta (little egret) of the Old World.
any of various wading birds of the genera Egretta, Hydranassa, etc, that are similar to herons but usually have a white plumage and, in the breeding season, long feathery plumes: family Ardeidae, order Ciconiiformes See also aigrette

mid-14c., from Old French aigrette, from Old Provençal aigreta, diminutive of aigron “heron,” perhaps of Germanic origin (cf. Old High German heigaro; see heron).


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