elephant seal


: either of two very large seals (genus Mirounga of the family Phocidae) characterized by a long inflatable proboscis:
: one (M. angustirostris) found in Pacific coastal waters from southeastern Alaska to Baja California
: one (M. leonina) found in coastal waters of subantarctic islands and Patagonia

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But how did that elephant seal get there? Allison Chinchar, CNN, 7 May 2022 The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is the elephant seal in the aquarium. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 13 May 2021 The incident originally occurred on Sept. 28, 2019, when 30-year-old Jordan Gerbich from Santa Maria, California drove to an elephant seal viewing area near the Piedras Blancas Marine Reserve and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with a .45 caliber pistol and a flashlight. Jon Haworth, ABC News, 14 Apr. 2021 SeaWorld San Diego also released an elephant seal found in Imperial Beach in January. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Mar. 2023 That may be related to a decline in the elephant seal population on the islands, which Point Blue scientists attributed to more frequent winter storms leading to a lower survival rate among pups. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Oct. 2022 The area’s elephant seal population has steadily increased since the finned giants returned to Bay Area beaches in the 1970s after an absence of nearly two centuries. Nora Mishanec, SFChronicle.com, 14 Jan. 2021 Something else must have influenced the loss of this gene in the cats, brown hyena and northern elephant seal, but not in their kin. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 29 Mar. 2011 Trevor McIntyre faces off against a male southern elephant seal. Nala Rogers, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'elephant seal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of elephant seal was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near elephant seal

Cite this Entry

“Elephant seal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elephant%20seal. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

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