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1. A sign or omen of good fortune, specifically in relation to sailing. In this instance, it is a literal albatross that is a symbol of good luck. We saw an albatross flying overhead as soon as we set out, so I think it's safe to say we're going to have a smooth trip out to sea.
2. Something that is considered cursed, an ill omen, or the bringer of bad luck. This metaphorical use of the term is an allusion to the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in which the titular narrator kills an albatross (usually an omen of good fortune), bringing a curse upon himself and his ship. Ever since he gave that disastrous campaign speech, the congressman has been seen as something of an albatross for the fortunes of his party.

albatross (a)round (one's) neck

A heavy burden that prevents one from achieving success. The phrase refers to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in which the narrator kills an albatross—a large white bird deemed an omen of good fortune. This act is thought to curse his ship, so he must then wear the albatross around his neck. The old property became an albatross around his neck as the costs of repair and renovation began to skyrocket.
See also: albatross, neck

albatross around one's neck

A heavy burden of guilt that becomes an obstacle to success, as in The failed real estate scheme became an albatross around her neck, for now she could not interest other investors in a new project . This idiom comes from Samuel Coleridge's narrative poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), which is based on the widespread superstition that it is unlucky to kill this large white sea bird. In the poem a sailor does kill an albatross, and when the ship then is becalmed near the equator and runs out of water, his shipmates blame him and force him to wear the dead bird around his neck.
See also: albatross, around, neck

an albatross around your neck


an albatross round your neck

If you describe something as an albatross around your neck or round your neck, you mean that it causes you great problems from which you cannot escape, or it prevents you from doing what you want to do. Being the son of a major criminal was an albatross around my neck. He agrees the song is a musical albatross around their necks. Note: This is a reference to the poem `The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in which the character who shot an albatross (= a large, white sea bird) has to carry the bird hung around his neck.
See also: albatross, around, neck

albatross round someone's neck

something that is burdensome to someone and hinders their progress, especially arising from some misdeed of their own in the past.
From the albatross shot dead by the sailor in Coleridge 's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ( 1798 ), which brought his ship bad luck. The bird was hung round his neck as a sign of his guilt.
2000 Sunday Herald Being the offspring of a famous guy has become an albatross round the neck of many a budding young lion.
See also: albatross, neck, round

albatross around one's neck

A burden or stigma brought on by one's actions. Sailors considered the albatross bird to be an omen or manifestation of good luck, and to harm one was to invite disaster not only to the shooter or trapper but the entire ship's company. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” the ship's captain killed one such bird that had landed on the deck while the ship was becalmed. When the wind continued to stay away, the crew blamed the captain's action for the bad luck, and he was forced to wear the albatross's carcass around his neck as a reminder of his misdeed.
See also: albatross, around, neck
References in periodicals archive ?
Gaining a better understanding of the birds diet will help us identify how fishing may be influencing the availability of prey, and could potentially allow for fisheries management to improve the availability of prey species for the Antipodes Island wandering albatross.
Inadvertently the albatross is killed; the liberation and intuition associated with the bird is rejected in favour of the social applause represented by the Mariner's judgmental comrades.
Shy albatross in Tasmania stay around their colony during winter so we have access to the scats year round and can compare winter and breeding season diets.
This paper is one of the few documented records of Light-mantled Albatross in Brazil, noting that more records should be published in scientific journals to understand more the distribution and dispersion pattern of this species.
Birds of the albatross family tend to fly long distances over open water.
With a life span of 40 to 50 years, adult albatross that originally fledged from PMRF will continue to return to the base each year to nest.
That was about as good as you can play a hole of golf," world number 54 Fleetwood said of his first albatross.
Albatross Archive will now receive an array of fantastic prizes including the chance to work with legendary South Wales music producer Charlie Francis.
ebster's albatross was the second of the season on the European Tour after Dutchman Joost Luiten produced one at the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban earlier this month, although this was the first time at this level that anyone had shot an albatross on his opening hole, the report added.
Steve Webster hit an albatross on the 10th hole yesterday.
How do albatross soar so effortlessly, flying around the world without flapping their wings?
Like many seabirds, the albatross has a penchant for diving at the strings of baited hooks deployed off fishing vessels, hoping for free food.
THE Albatross Tour India has emerged as a great opportunity for juniors to play competitive golf and what makes the tour different is that it is run entirely by their parents.
The Englishman closed with a final round 64 at the KLM Open which lifted him to seven-under for the tournament with a rare albatross two at the 499-yard 18th.
Billy Campbell basked in the glory of his first-ever albatross - only to be upstaged by son Jack who managed an incredible hole in one just two days later.