sperm whale

sperm whale
noun Etymology: short for spermaceti whale Date: circa 1700 a large toothed whale (Physeter macrocephalus syn. P. catodon) with a massive squarish head having a large closed cavity containing a fluid mixture of spermaceti and oil

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

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

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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