Definition of cetacean
: any of an order (Cetacea) of aquatic mostly marine mammals that includes the whales, dolphins, porpoises, and related forms and that have a torpedo-shaped nearly hairless body, paddle-shaped forelimbs but no hind limbs, one or two nares opening externally at the top of the head, and a horizontally flattened tail used for locomotion
cetaceousplay \-shəs\ adjective
Recent Examples of cetacean from the Web
Mexican scientist Gustavo Cardenas and Jennifer Trickey, a researcher with Scripps, are using the devices to track populations and behaviors of the elusive cetaceans.
In the 25 years she's been observing orcas and other cetaceans in the bay, she's become familiar with how orcas interact with the region's other residents.
The biology of living whales can be extremely difficult to study, and, with so many mysteries surrounding modern cetaceans, reconstructing the lives of extinct whales is doubly challenging.
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Origin and Etymology of cetacean
ultimately from Latin cetus whale, from Greek kētos
First Known Use: 1835
CETACEAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cetacean for English Language Learners
: a mammal (such as a whale, dolphin, or porpoise) that lives in the ocean
Learn More about cetacean
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cetacean
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