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 Facing the harbor, the comprehensive Husavik Whale Museum exhibits many of the species that sailors may see, including an 82-foot-long blue whale skeleton. New York Times, 3 June 2022 About 130 metric tons of liquid helium—about the weight of a midsize blue whale—keep 36,000 metric tons of the collider under 4 kelvin. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, 27 Apr. 2022 The largest living organism on Earth is not the blue whale. Tom Shippey, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 This time, the orcas chose a smaller blue whale, perhaps a juvenile, roughly twice their length. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 The blue whale’s skull was showing and its dorsal fin was missing. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 There are only a few sounds in the Antarctic blue whale repertoire. The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Jan. 2022 Whatever the species, the blue whale dwarfed its attackers. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Apr. 2021 That means its longer than a Boeing 737 aircraft and a blue whale. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of blue whale

1851, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About blue whale

Time Traveler for blue whale

Time Traveler

The first known use of blue whale was in 1851

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near blue whale


blue whale

blue wheat grass

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for blue whale

Last Updated

11 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Blue whale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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

More Definitions for blue 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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