noun, often attributive \ˈhwāl, ˈwāl\

: an often very large animal that lives in the ocean and that is a mammal rather than a fish

: something that is very big, important, good, etc.

plural whales

Full Definition of WHALE

or plural whale :  cetacean; especially :  one (as a sperm whale or killer whale) of larger size
:  one that is impressive especially in size <a whale of a difference> <a whale of a good time>
whale·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of WHALE

  1. <a whale of a pickup truck>

Origin of WHALE

Middle English, from Old English hwæl; akin to Old High German hwal whale and perhaps to Latin squalus sea fish
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole


intransitive verb

Definition of WHALE

:  to engage in whale fishing

First Known Use of WHALE


Other Hunting and Fishing Terms

chum, covert, creel, flense, pitfall, seine, skulk, spoor, trawl


transitive verb

Definition of WHALE

:  lash, thrash
:  to strike or hit vigorously
:  to defeat soundly

Origin of WHALE

origin unknown
First Known Use: circa 1790


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of dozens of species of exclusively aquatic mammals found in oceans, seas, rivers, and estuaries worldwide but especially numerous in the Antarctic Ocean. Whales are commonly distinguished from the smaller porpoises and dolphins and sometimes from narwhals, but they are all cetaceans. See also baleen whale; toothed whale.


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