blue whale


: a very large baleen whale (Balaenoptera musculus synonym Sibbaldus musculus) that may reach a weight of 150 tons (136 metric tons) and a length of 100 feet (30 meters) and is generally considered the largest living animal

Illustration of blue whale

Illustration of blue whale

Examples of blue whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But that's only possible with the correct ocean conditions, when other sounds aren’t around to drown out blue whale bellows. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 17 Oct. 2023 The whale may have been the largest animal of all time, a giant that rivals or even exceeds the proportions of today’s blue whale. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 Dinner was in the Hall of Ocean Life, and the chicken pot pies on each plate were decorated with mini versions of the big blue whale that floated overhead. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 7 Nov. 2023 The event, held in the American Museum of Natural History in the cavernous room just beneath the belly of the great blue whale, was hosted by Anne Hathaway in a Ralph Lauren denim gown and many carats of diamonds. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 One incident saw a group of orcas attack, kill and eat blue whales. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 27 May 2023 Whale watching is hugely popular around the globe, from Cape Cod to the Dominican Republic, but Sri Lanka is one of the only places to easily see the world’s largest living creatures, blue whales. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2023 While peak season stretches from April through October, to up your odds of seeing larger migratory species such as blue whales, consider planning a trip between the end of April and the beginning of May. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 12 Aug. 2023 Today’s blue whales eat tiny crustaceans called krill. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 2 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blue whale.' 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

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of blue whale was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near blue whale

Cite this Entry

“Blue whale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

blue whale

: a whale that may reach a weight of 150 tons (135 metric tons) and a length of 100 feet (30 meters) and is generally considered the largest living animal

More from Merriam-Webster on blue whale

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