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 Perhaps my favorite observation took place in the Canadian Arctic with beluga whales. Brian Skerry, Time, 8 June 2021 The day was filled with new aquatic friends, including a visit with a beluga whale, feeding time with some turtles and a private petting session with a Magellanic penguin. Georgia Slater,, 1 June 2021 The friendly beluga whale became an Instagram star. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 21 Apr. 2021 Since the 1970s, the Cook Inlet beluga whale population has dropped dramatically, by about 80%. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 27 May 2021 The friendly beluga whale became an Instagram star. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 21 Apr. 2021 As the pod of beluga whales headed up the Kenai River, group members peered through camera lenses and binoculars. Anchorage Daily News, 28 Apr. 2021 In 2016, a mall in the southern city of Guangzhou drew international criticism for housing bears, beluga whales and walruses in small enclosures that were described as resembling a prison. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2021 The friendly beluga whale became an Instagram star. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beluga

Statistics for beluga

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beluga.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on beluga Encyclopedia article about beluga


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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