blow·​hole | \ ˈblō-ˌhōl How to pronounce blowhole (audio) \
plural blowholes

Definition of blowhole

1 : a hole in metal caused by a bubble of gas captured during solidification
2 : a nostril in the top of the head of a cetacean and especially a whale
3 : 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 Someone had hacked off its flukes, and another person, or perhaps the same one, had stuck a cigar butt in its blowhole. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 After that, the orcas jumped onto the whale's blowhole to exhaust the animal and prevent it from breathing. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 During the session, VanderVelde spotted water spouting out of a whale's blowhole in the ocean about 200 yards from the shore, per KAKE. Kelli Bender,, 17 Feb. 2022 Again through manipulation and dissection, the researchers figured out that when the animal was ready to swallow its latest meal, the oral plug shifted upward to protect the upper respiratory tract, including the nasal cavities and blowhole. New York Times, 20 Jan. 2022 Ascend their tails to get to the blowhole on their heads, then get launched a great distance upwards to escape a tricky situation. Erik Kain, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 During dives, the blowhole is sealed by a nasal plug that opens when the animal surfaces. Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2021 Baleen whales have two openings in their blowhole, while toothed whales have one. Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2021 The parts aren’t exactly alike, but both animals have a dorsal fin and a blowhole. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 20 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of blowhole

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for blowhole

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The first known use of blowhole was in 1691

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Dictionary Entries Near blowhole



blow in

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Cite this Entry

“Blowhole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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