Risso's dolphin

Ris·​so's dolphin | \ ˈri-sōz- How to pronounce Risso's dolphin (audio) \

Definition of Risso's dolphin

: a dolphin (Grampus griseus) widely distributed in temperate and tropical seas that has a blunt snout, a rounded forehead, and teeth in the lower jaw only Risso's dolphins, which have small mouths and large foreheads, are deep ocean divers that stay offshore and are rarely seen close to shore.— Peter Fimrite

called also grampus

First Known Use of Risso's dolphin

1870, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Risso's dolphin

after Giuseppe Antonio (Joseph Antoine) Risso †1845 naturalist born in Nice

Note: Risso contributed a description and drawing of the dolphin, apparently never published on their own, to the French zoologist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), who briefly described and illustrated the dolphin on the basis of Risso's account in "Rapport … sur divers Cétacées pris sur les côtes de France …," Annales du Muséum d'historie naturelle, tome 19 (1812), pp. 12-13 and plate 1 (under the taxonomic name Delphinus griseus). A later synonym was Delphinus rissoanus (1827), on which the current common name may be based.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Risso's dolphin

Time Traveler for Risso's dolphin

Time Traveler

The first known use of Risso's dolphin was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Risso's dolphin

Cite this Entry

“Risso's dolphin.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Risso%27s%20dolphin. Accessed 18 January 2020.

Comments on Risso's dolphin

What made you want to look up Risso's dolphin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!