dolphin

noun
dol·​phin | \ ˈdäl-fən How to pronounce dolphin (audio) , ˈdȯl-\

Definition of dolphin

1a : any of various small marine toothed whales (family Delphinidae) with the snout more or less elongated into a beak and the neck vertebrae partially fused

Note: While not closely related, dolphins and porpoises share a physical resemblance that often leads to misidentification. Dolphins typically have cone-shaped teeth, curved dorsal fins, and elongated beaks with large mouths, while porpoises have flat, spade-shaped teeth, triangular dorsal fins, and shortened beaks with smaller mouths.

b : any of several related chiefly freshwater toothed whales (as of the families Platanistidae and Iniidae) : river dolphin
3 capitalized : delphinus
4 : a spar or buoy for mooring boats also : a cluster of closely driven piles used as a fender for a dock or as a mooring or guide for boats

Illustration of dolphin

Illustration of dolphin

dolphin 1a

Examples of dolphin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Play—or scientifically speaking, voluntary recreational activity—is widespread in the animal kingdom, with dolphins, cats, dogs, otters, ravens and even crocodiles engaging in forms of play. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rats Learned to Play Hide and Seek to Help Study the Brain," 13 Sep. 2019 This summer, at rough count, the brand will unveil a half-dozen collaborations and launches: Shoes made of upcycled jeans, shoes that change color like mood rings, shoes with dolphins. Kate Bowers, Fortune, "Rebooting Converse: Should the brand play hard to get?," 30 July 2019 The twins opened the segment by visiting the Georgia aquarium and playing with dolphins before visiting Icebox, a popular jewelry store in Atlanta. Iliana Limón Romero, orlandosentinel.com, "Shaquem, Shaquill Griffin buy their mom diamond jewelry on ‘Play it Forward’ episode," 16 July 2019 Team building is taken to a whole new level with bimonthly excursions to build camaraderie and trust, such as hot air balloon rides, swimming with dolphins, ATV tours and an overnight trip to Prescott. Leigh Farr, azcentral, "Small Company Rankings," 13 June 2019 Families staying five to eight nights get a generous $1,500 resort credit that buys spa treatments, catamaran sails and swims with the dolphins. Melanie Reffes, USA TODAY, "Summer on sale in the Caribbean: Stay at luxurious resorts at a huge discount," 11 June 2019 Lilly wanted to understand and communicate with dolphins — literally, to speak their language. John Wenz, Discover Magazine, "The Secret Origins of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," 11 Feb. 2019 Plastered on the walls of Network’s offices, there are giant images of Putin: The president at the Olympics; Putin petting a tiger or a leopard; a shirtless Putin looking sporty and swimming with dolphins. Anna Nemtsova, Newsweek, "Putin Youth: The Young Russians Who See the President as a Father," 24 Nov. 2014 After the festival, attendees will go on a two-hour boat ride to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. Burbank Leader, "Burbank Area Calendar: Square-dancing class for singles and couples offered at senior center," 16 Sep. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for dolphin

Middle English delphyn, dolphyn, from Anglo-French delphin, alteration of Old French dalfin, from Medieval Latin dalfinus, alteration of Latin delphinus, from Greek delphin-, delphis; akin to Greek delphys womb, Sanskrit garbha

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Dictionary Entries near dolphin

dolos

dolose

dolour

dolphin

dolphinfish

dolphin flower

dolphin oil

Statistics for dolphin

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dolphin

The first known use of dolphin was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for dolphin

dolphin

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dolphin

: a small usually gray whale that has a pointed nose

dolphin

noun
dol·​phin | \ ˈdäl-fən How to pronounce dolphin (audio) , ˈdȯl-\

Kids Definition of dolphin

1 : a small whale with teeth and a long nose
2 : either of two large fish usually of warm seas that are often used for food

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More from Merriam-Webster on dolphin

Spanish Central: Translation of dolphin

Nglish: Translation of dolphin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dolphin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dolphin

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