Risso's dolphin


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

Word History


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.

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near Risso's dolphin

Cite this Entry

“Risso's dolphin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Risso%27s%20dolphin. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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