blow·​hole ˈblō-ˌhōl How to pronounce blowhole (audio)
plural blowholes
: a hole in metal caused by a bubble of gas captured during solidification
: a nostril in the top of the head of a cetacean and especially a whale
: a hole or fissure in rocks along a shore through which incoming waves force air to rush upward or water to spout intermittently
The blowhole is in a place where ocean waves marching in from the north have undercut a lava shelf and carved a tire-sized hole so that surf can spout up like a Yellowstone geyser.Brian J. Cantwell

Examples of blowhole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After looking at the girl for a few moments, the orca pulls away to swim up to the surface of the pool, taking a deep breath before letting some air out from its blowhole. Charlotte Phillipp, Peoplemag, 10 Mar. 2024 Female koalas sometimes mount other females, while male Amazon river dolphins have been known to penetrate each other’s blowholes. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 June 2023 Advertisement One of the orcas then pulled up beside the stunned whale watchers and sprayed a blood-red mixture of air, mucus and dolphin bits out of its blowhole. Andrew J. Campa, Los Angeles Times, 27 Dec. 2023 The Antarctic Endeavour glides across the water’s silky surface as dozens of fin whales spray rainbows from their blowholes into a fairy tale icescape of massive glaciers. Joshua Goodman, Fortune, 13 Oct. 2023 One is a guy who can make his hand vibrate incredibly fast, and the other is a girl with a dolphin blowhole on her back. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 13 Oct. 2023 Using fleshy structures mounted inside the nasal cavity, the creatures can produce an array of squeals, clicks and groans through their blowholes. Victoria Sayo Turner, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 July 2023 In the wheelhouse of a crab boat named Heidi Sue, Mike Pettis watched the gray whale surface and shoot water through its blowhole. Ed Komenda, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Aug. 2023 The standard practice involves securing a hook in the blowhole, dragging the animal onto the beach, severing its spinal cord and blood supply, and cutting its neck with a whaling knife. Andrea Sach, Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blowhole was in 1691

Dictionary Entries Near blowhole

Cite this Entry

“Blowhole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


blow·​hole -ˌhōl How to pronounce blowhole (audio)
: a nostril in the top of the head of a whale or related animal
: a hole in the ice to which aquatic mammals (as seals) come to breathe
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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