blue whale

noun

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

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Illustration of blue whale

Examples of blue whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 For those who prefer beauty to horror, vast blue whales circle a wall screen in full-size video animations. James Gorman, New York Times, "The Ruthless Phronima, and Other Hidden Wonders of the Sea," 22 Mar. 2018 Pemberton has calculated that the combined weight of the tumors, most of which are genetically a single organism, now exceeds that of a blue whale. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger," 16 Jan. 2012 Out of San Francisco, the Ocean Society made a trip to the Farallon Islands and sighted 15 humpback whales, five blue whales, one minke whale, 70 Risso’s dolphins, five northern right whale dolphins, and 80 Pacific white-sided dolphins. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Chart-buster times: salmon to whales, bears to bighorns," 8 July 2018 Domenic Biagini recorded this spectacular drone footage of a blue whale mother and her calf near San Diego on June 26. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Boat ramps a gateway to fun or frustration," 28 June 2018 Others called rorquals, such as humpbacks and blue whales, use gulp-feeding, taking in vast mouthfuls of water and krill and then squeezing the water out. National Geographic, "Prehistoric Toothless Whale Among Oldest of Its Kind," 19 Apr. 2018 Those big blue whales in the bunk room — and all the other animal motifs — is that another theme here? Lisa Cregan, House Beautiful, "Krista Ewart on Decorating a Cheerful Beach House," 18 July 2010 The ministry revealed that the whale measures 24 meters (nearly 80 feet) long, and belongs to a subspecies known as the pygmy blue whale. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Huge Blue Whale Sighted in the Red Sea for the First Time," 2 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.

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First Known Use of blue whale

1851, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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The first known use of blue whale was in 1851

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More Definitions for blue whale

blue whale

noun

English Language Learners Definition of blue whale

: a very large bluish-gray whale

blue whale

noun

Kids Definition of blue whale

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

More from Merriam-Webster on blue whale

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about blue whale

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