baleen

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noun ba·leen \bə-ˈlēn, ˈbā-ˌlēn\

Definition of baleen

  1. :  a horny keratinous substance found in two rows of transverse plates which hang down from the upper jaws of baleen whales

Recent Examples of baleen from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baleen'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of baleen

Middle English baleine whale, baleen, from Latin balaena whale; akin to Greek phallaina whale


First Known Use: 14th century


BALEEN Defined for Kids

baleen

play
noun ba·leen \bə-ˈlēn\

Definition of baleen for Students

  1. :  a tough material that hangs down from the upper jaw of whales without teeth and is used by the whale to filter small ocean animals out of seawater


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