Sperm whale
Sperm whale Sperm" whale` (Zo["o]l.) A very large toothed whale ({Physeter macrocephalus}), having a head of enormous size. The upper jaw is destitute of teeth. In the upper part of the head, above the skull, there is a large cavity, or case, filled with oil and spermaceti. This whale sometimes grows to the length of more than eighty feet. It is found in the warmer parts of all the oceans. Called also {cachalot}, and {spermaceti whale}. [1913 Webster]

{Pygmy sperm whale} (Zo["o]l.), a small whale ({Kogia breviceps}), seldom twenty feet long, native of tropical seas, but occasionally found on the American coast. Called also {snub-nosed cachalot}.

{Sperm-whale porpoise} (Zo["o]l.), a toothed cetacean ({Hypero["o]don bidens}), found on both sides of the Atlantic and valued for its oil. The adult becomes about twenty-five feet long, and its head is very large and thick. Called also {bottle-nosed whale}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Sperm whale — Sperm Whale[1] Size compared to an average human …   Wikipedia

  • sperm whale — 1830, shortening of spermaceti whale (so called because the waxy substance in its head was mistaken for sperm), from spermaceti (1471), from M.L. sperma ceti sperm of a whale, from L. sperma (see SPERM (Cf. sperm)) + cetus large sea animal (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sperm whale — Sperm Sperm, n.[Contr. fr. spermaceti.] Spermaceti. [1913 Webster] {Sperm oil}, a fatty oil found as a liquid, with spermaceti, in the head cavities of the sperm whale. {Sperm whale}. (Zo[ o]l.) See in the Vocabulary. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sperm whale — sperm whales N COUNT A sperm whale is a large whale with a large head that has a section in it which contains oil …   English dictionary

  • sperm whale — sperm′ whale n. mam a large, square headed, toothed whale, Physeter catodon, having a cavity in the head that contains sperm oil and spermaceti • Etymology: 1825–35 …   From formal English to slang

  • sperm whale — n. any of a family (Physeteridae) of toothed whales; esp., a large species (Physeter catodon) inhabiting warm seas: a closed cavity in its roughly square head contains sperm oil …   English World dictionary

  • sperm whale — n a large ↑whale sometimes hunted for its oil and fat …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sperm whale — sperm ,whale noun count a large WHALE that is sometimes hunted for its oil and fat …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sperm whale — ► NOUN ▪ a toothed whale with a massive head, feeding at great depths largely on squid. ORIGIN abbreviation of SPERMACETI(Cf. ↑S) …   English terms dictionary

  • Sperm Whale — Taxobox name = Sperm WhaleMSW3 Cetacea | id=14300131 ] status = VU status system = iucn3.1 status ref = [IUCN2008|assessors=Taylor, B.L., Baird, R., Barlow, J., Dawson, S.M., Ford, J., Mead, J.G., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Wade, P. Pitman,… …   Wikipedia

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