1. (Science: zoology) The name of several species of herons which bear plumes on the back. They are generally white. Among the best known species are the American egret (Ardea, or Herodias, egretta); the great egret (a. Alba); the little egret (a. Garzetta), of Europe; and the American snowy egret (a. Candidissima). A bunch of egrets killed for their plumage. (g. W. Cable)
2. A plume or tuft of feathers worn as a part of a headdress, or anything imitating such an ornament; an aigrette.
3. (Science: botany) The flying feathery or hairy crown of seeds or achenes, as the down of the thistle.
4. (Science: zoology) a kind of ape.
See: Aigret, heron.