be·​lu·​ga bə-ˈlü-gə How to pronounce beluga (audio)
: a large white sturgeon (Huso huso synonym Acipenser huso) of the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and their tributaries
also : caviar processed from beluga roe compare osetra, sevruga
[Russian belukha, from belyĭ] : a toothed whale (Delphinapterus leucas) of arctic and subarctic waters having a fusiform body that is about 10 to 15 feet (3.0 to 5.0 meters) long and white when mature

called also white whale

Illustration of beluga

Illustration of beluga
  • beluga 2

Examples of beluga in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the beluga, however, the melon also seems to have another use. Tom Hawking, Popular Science, 2 May 2024 The findings are not exclusive to the beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, as the same five head shapes have also been documented among belugas in Canada. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 2 May 2024 The beluga also knew how to closely follow boats and had a habit of wrapping rope around propellers, which could suggest specialized training. Ferris Jabr, New York Times, 14 Jan. 2024 Several people responded to the Instagram post with fond memories of the beluga. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Dec. 2023 The ocean is habitat for narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Dec. 2023 Interestingly, the current all-tackle rod and reel record beluga was caught in 1993 and weighs a mere 224 pounds, 13 ounces. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 19 Oct. 2023 Loss of sea ice putting migrating beluga whales in danger Historically, whales typically die after being struck by a vessel, or due to encounters or entanglements with fishing gear, experts said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 13 Sep. 2023 As the world shifts around them, belugas continue to complete their migratory journeys. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beluga.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Russian, from belyĭ white; akin to Greek phalios having a white spot — more at bald

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of beluga was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near beluga

Cite this Entry

“Beluga.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


be·​lu·​ga bə-ˈlü-gə How to pronounce beluga (audio)
: a toothed whale that becomes 10 to 15 feet (3.0 to 5.0 meters) long and white when adult

called also beluga whale


from earlier beluga "a white sturgeon," from Russian beluga (same meaning), from belyǐ "white"

More from Merriam-Webster on beluga

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