blue whale


Definition of 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 his more recent research has ramped things up dramatically, using earplugs from 20 fin, humpback, and blue whales that lived through the 19th and 20th centuries. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Whales are stressed out by climate change, and it shows in their earwax," 16 Nov. 2018 Marine life is as diverse as microscopic plankton and the blue whale, the largest animal known to have lived on Earth. Rosemary Mcclure,, "Channel Islands and an expedition ship? It's a match made in heaven," 15 May 2018 But the blue whale, which is the largest animal to ever live and would dwarf an 18-wheeler, is a close relation to the sei, and relatively distant from the humpback, according to the study, published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "Baleen Whales Intermingled as They Evolved, and Share DNA With Distant Cousins," 4 Apr. 2018 All aspects of the natural world are represented here, from a vast collection of taxidermy mammals, to depictions of the life of Native American tribes, to an entire hall dedicated to marine life—including a life-size model of a gigantic blue whale. John Wogan, Condé Nast Traveler, "25 Best Museums in New York City," 27 Feb. 2018 The Dinner: Soon after cocktail hour, guests were led across the museum to the grand Hall of Ocean Life, where round tables were set up under the enormous blue whale. Logan Sykes, Town & Country, "The AMNH Museum Dance is Your Childhood Dream Come True," 18 Apr. 2015 This is why a whale is far heavier than a dinosaur of the same size; Supersaurus, estimated at about the same length as the largest blue whale, weighed less than half as much. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "Today’s Whales Are Huge, But Why Aren’t They Huger?," 27 June 2018 Not just an ordinary cetacean but a blue whale, the biggest of the species. Tom Titus,, "On Theater: Friends come in all shapes and sizes," 24 May 2018 Earlier this month, a blue whale turned up in the Red Sea, LiveScience reported. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Blue whale found on California coast died from ship strike, scientists say," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blue whale.' 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 blue whale

1851, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blue whale

Share blue whale

Statistics for blue whale

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blue whale

The first known use of blue whale was in 1851

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blue whale

blue whale


English Language Learners Definition of blue whale

: a very large bluish-gray whale

blue whale


Kids Definition of blue whale

: a very large whale that is generally considered the largest living animal

More from Merriam-Webster on blue whale Encyclopedia article about blue whale

Comments on blue whale

What made you want to look up blue whale? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!