Definitions for: Whale


[n] any of the larger cetacean mammals having a streamlined body and breathing through a blowhole on the head
[n] a very large person; impressive in size or qualities
[v] hunt for whales



Webster (1913) Definition: 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.



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.

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 C. 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.

Synonyms: giant, heavyweight, hulk

See Also: baleen whale, blower, cetacean, cetacean mammal, hunt, hunt down, large person, Monodon monoceros, narwal, narwhal, narwhale, run, spouter, toothed whale, track down, whalebone whale

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