be·​lu·​ga | \ bə-ˈlü-gə How to pronounce beluga (audio) \

Definition of beluga

1 : 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
2 [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 But female narwhals and belugas are similar in size and shape, and could easily be mistaken for one another. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Bizarre Whale Is a Beluga-Narwhal Hybrid," 20 June 2019 There are only 328 Cook Inlet beluga whales left in the wild. USA TODAY, "Corrections & Clarifications 2017," 27 Apr. 2020 The plan calls for the beluga whales to be shipped to the United States from Marineland in Canada. Rob Hotakainen, Science | AAAS, "Plan to move beluga whales from Canada to U.S. aquarium sparks controversy," 24 Apr. 2020 In Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium posted a series of viral videos showing their penguins wandering around the empty aquarium, coming face to face with beluga whales and colorful fish. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "The Bronx Zoo Is Also Empty, but the Animals Don’t Mind," 3 Apr. 2020 Since the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago closed to the public last month, beluga whales Kayavak, Mauyak and baby Annik haven’t had many visitors. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Animals Are Taking Adorable Field Trips During Quarantine," 11 Apr. 2020 The final 21 belugas were released from two ships on Sunday, according to the AFP. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Russia Frees Last Belugas from Notorious ‘Whale Jail’," 13 Nov. 2019 The Peninsula Clarion reports the Alaska Beluga Monitoring Partnership is offering volunteers an opportunity to help scientists understand more about Cook Inlet beluga whales. USA TODAY, "Smokey Bear, tarantula trek, censoring Adam and Eve: News from around our 50 states," 9 Aug. 2019 Last week viewers got to virtually feed a beluga whale, meet a giant Pacific octopus named Jeanne, and watch a brand-new penguin chick play with cuddly stuffed toys. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, "Check Out These Educational Livestreams This Week," 30 Mar. 2020

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

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First Known Use of beluga

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beluga

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

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Time Traveler for beluga

Time Traveler

The first known use of beluga was in 1591

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Last Updated

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beluga.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on beluga

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beluga Encyclopedia article about beluga

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