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 a sperm whale or killer whale) of larger size 2. one that is impressive especially in size <
a whale of a difference
>
<
a whale of a good time
>
whalelike adjective II. intransitive verb (whaled; whaling) Date: 1700 to engage in whale fishing III. transitive verb (whaled; whaling) Etymology: origin unknown Date: circa 1790 1. lash, thrash 2. to strike or hit vigorously 3. to defeat soundly

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”