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

One of its most lavish rooms is the master bedroom, which boasts a coved ceiling with gilded dolphins and rope ornament from the yacht Royal George. Eileen Reslen, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Is Adelaide Cottage? Everything You Need to Know About Harry and Meghan's New Home," 23 July 2018 Coe is a big fan of whale watches and swims with wild dolphins. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 In one level, a dolphin whizzes around in clearly three-dimensional fashion as a level transitions from a steady, underwater swim to a burst above ground. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Tetris Effect review: The puzzle game of my dreams—literally," 9 Nov. 2018 Moments later, the 12-foot shark starts to devour the dolphin just feet from several fishing boats. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Great white shark kills dolphin, loses meal to even bigger shark," 17 Aug. 2018 While glided dolphins are an obvious must-have feature, the privacy of the property is also thought to be one of the main qualities that Harry and Meghan are looking for. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Queen Has Gifted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle an Incredible New Home," 23 July 2018 Assisting SeaWorld Orlando with the dolphin’s release was also the Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Gabrielle Russon, OrlandoSentinel.com, "SeaWorld: Good news animal story — 'Sharkie' the dolphin set free," 2 July 2018 In Sarasota County, 11 dead dolphins have been found and marine biologists are investigating if their deaths are linked to red tide, according to FOX13. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Red tide along Florida's Gulf Coast leads Gov. Scott to declare state of emergency," 15 Aug. 2018 This week, nine dead dolphins were found in Sarasota County, and marine biologists are investigating whether the deaths are related to red tide. Tamara Lush, The Seattle Times, "Devastating toxic algae bloom plagues Florida’s Gulf Coast," 14 Aug. 2018

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

20 Mar 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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