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 The parts aren’t exactly alike, but both animals have a dorsal fin and a blowhole. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 20 Apr. 2021 The blowhole is the first body part to rise out of the water, followed by the back and tail as the whale dives below the surface in one graceful motion. Nora Mishanec,, 2 Jan. 2021 The remoras glide along their host’s body, clustering near a whale’s blowhole and dorsal fin where there is minimal drag—all the while nibbling on dead skin and parasites. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2020 Sperm whales are the only living cetacean that has a single blowhole asymmetrically situated on the left side of the crown of the head. al, 23 Nov. 2020 In the video, the whale, a juvenile maybe twenty-five feet long, cruises slowly into a lineup of surfers, its undulating tail casting arcing ripples, and then emerges from the water, exhaling through its blowhole. Amia Srinivasan, The New Yorker, 17 Aug. 2020 Some of the people who interacted with Tião grabbed his fins, hit him, and tried to put ice cream sticks in his blowhole. Cathleen O'grady, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 July 2020 In other words, a lot of climatic factors must conspire for this chilly blowhole-like structure to arise. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2020 To do this, graduate students built robodolphin, which includes a mechanical dolphin lung and replica of the blowhole. Jason Bruck, The Conversation, 1 July 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of blowhole

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About blowhole

Time Traveler for blowhole

Time Traveler

The first known use of blowhole was in 1691

See more words from the same year

Statistics for blowhole

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blowhole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blowhole



English Language Learners Definition of blowhole

: a hole that is on the top of a whale or related animal's head and is used by the animal for breathing
: a hole in the ice to which seals and other animals that are living in the water under the ice come to breathe


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!