Whale
Whale Whale, n. [OE. whal, AS. hw[ae]l; akin to D. walvisch, G. wal, walfisch, OHG. wal, Icel. hvalr, Dan. & Sw. hval, hvalfisk. Cf. {Narwhal}, {Walrus}.] (Zo["o]l.) Any aquatic mammal of the order {Cetacea}, especially any one of the large species, some of which become nearly one hundred feet long. Whales are hunted chiefly for their oil and baleen, or whalebone. [1913 Webster]

Note: The existing whales are divided into two groups: the toothed whales ({Odontocete}), including those that have teeth, as the cachalot, or sperm whale (see {Sperm whale}); and the baleen, or whalebone, whales ({Mysticete}), comprising those that are destitute of teeth, but have plates of baleen hanging from the upper jaw, as the right whales. The most important species of whalebone whales are the bowhead, or Greenland, whale (see Illust. of {Right whale}), the Biscay whale, the Antarctic whale, the gray whale (see under {Gray}), the humpback, the finback, and the rorqual. [1913 Webster]

{Whale bird}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) Any one of several species of large Antarctic petrels which follow whaling vessels, to feed on the blubber and floating oil; especially, {Prion turtur} (called also {blue petrel}), and {Pseudoprion desolatus}. (b) The turnstone; -- so called because it lives on the carcasses of whales. [Canada]

{Whale fin} (Com.), whalebone. --Simmonds.

{Whale fishery}, the fishing for, or occupation of taking, whales.

{Whale louse} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of degraded amphipod crustaceans belonging to the genus {Cyamus}, especially {Cyamus ceti}. They are parasitic on various cetaceans.

{Whale's bone}, ivory. [Obs.]

{Whale shark}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The basking, or liver, shark. (b) A very large harmless shark ({Rhinodon typicus}) native of the Indian Ocean. It sometimes becomes sixty feet long.

{Whale shot}, the name formerly given to spermaceti.

{Whale's tongue} (Zo["o]l.), a balanoglossus. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whale — (englisch für Wal) bezeichnet: Whale (Cumbria), eine Ortschaft im District Eden (Cumbria) der Grafschaft Cumbria, England Whale (Band), eine schwedische Popgruppe Whale, Spitzname der Douglas A 3 USS Whale (SS 239), ein US amerikanisches… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • whale — whale1 [hwāl, wāl] n. pl. whales or whale [ME whal < OE hwæl, akin to OHG hwal, ON hvalr, MDu wal < IE base * (s)kwalos, a large fish > L squalus, big sea fish] 1. any member of either of two orders (Mysticeta and Odontoceta) of aquatic… …   English World dictionary

  • whale — ► NOUN (pl. same or whales) ▪ a very large marine mammal with a horizontal tail fin and a blowhole on top of the head for breathing. ● a whale of a Cf. ↑a whale of a ● have a whale of a time Cf. ↑have a whale of a time …   English terms dictionary

  • whale — whale; whale·man; gun·whale; nar·whale; …   English syllables

  • whale — 1. (whale) (320↑, 56↓) 1. the animal with the hole in it 2. to beat up/beat on someone 1. Oh look it s a whale, the animal with the hole in it. There s only one! 2. Dad went upstairs to whale on his son. Not like Dad, upon seeing the bad report… …   Urban English dictionary

  • Whale — Whales are marine mammals which are neither dolphins (i.e. members of the families Delphinidae or Platanistoidae) nor porpoises. Orcas (Killer Whales) and Pilot whales have whale in their name, though they are dolphins for the purpose of… …   Wikipedia

  • whale — whale1 /hwayl, wayl/, n., pl. whales, (esp. collectively) whale, v., whaled, whaling. n. 1. any of the larger marine mammals of the order Cetacea, esp. as distinguished from the smaller dolphins and porpoises, having a fishlike body, forelimbs… …   Universalium

  • whale — n. sea mammal 1) to harpoon a whale 2) a blue; bowhead; sperm; white whale 3) a school of whales 4) a young whale is a calf 5) a female whale is a cow 6) a male whale is a bull misc. 7) a whale of a good time ( a very good time ) * * * [weɪl]… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • whale — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. cetacean; finback; blue, humpback, killer, sperm, sulphur bottom, or right whale; orca, rorqual, narwhal, blackfish, dolphin, porpoise, grampus; Moby Dick; informal, whopper. See size, animal. II… …   English dictionary for students

  • whale — I. noun (plural whales) Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hwæl; akin to Old High German hwal whale and perhaps to Latin squalus sea fish Date: before 12th century 1. or plural whale cetacean; especially one (as… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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