be·lu·ga | \bə-ˈlü-gə \

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

Paddlefish caviar has taken a larger role in fine dining because of the decline of beluga sturgeon in Russia and in other countries of the former Soviet Union. New York Times, "Hooking the Dinosaur of Fish," 26 May 2018 Thousands of beluga whales migrate into the Churchill River in Manitoba in July and August to feed and give birth. Rosemary Mcclure,, "See beluga whales in a Canadian town known for its polar bear excursions," 11 July 2018 Visitors can experience beluga watching and listen to their songs by boat, kayak or, for the more adventurous, on a snorkeling or paddle board adventure. Rosemary Mcclure,, "See beluga whales in a Canadian town known for its polar bear excursions," 11 July 2018 Kivalina residents are in high spirits this summer after a successful beluga harvest. Anchorage Daily News, "Kivalina enjoys rare beluga whale harvest," 7 July 2018 Researchers said both were unlikely and turned their attention to beluga teeth. Washington Post, "Research shows diet shift of beluga whales in Alaska inlet," 17 June 2018 Narwhals and beluga whales could be especially vulnerable because of their exposure to ships and their sensitivity to disturbances, according to a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Adam Aton, Scientific American, "Ships Threaten Arctic Marine Mammals," 3 July 2018 Frozen vodka at Siberia Bar is also good, particularly if a cook from one of the big hotels shows up with beluga. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Anthony Bourdain: 1956-2018," 9 June 2018 Subsistence hunting of smaller beluga whales is allowed in the region. Washington Post, "APNewsBreak: US won’t prosecute Alaska gray whale kill," 8 June 2018

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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Statistics for beluga

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for beluga

The first known use of beluga was in 1591

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See words that rhyme with beluga Encyclopedia article about beluga

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