fin whale


: a baleen whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that may attain a length of over 70 feet (21 meters) and is found chiefly in subtropical to arctic and antarctic waters worldwide

called also finback

Illustration of fin whale

Illustration of fin whale

Examples of fin whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 46-foot-long fin whale, which was dead when discovered, is one of roughly 11,000 species members in the region. Li Cohen, CBS News, 14 Feb. 2024 In 2019, a fin whale beached itself along the Gulf of California in Mexico. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 18 Mar. 2024 The population of fin whales on the West Coast is an estimated 8,000, the Statesman Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported. USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2024 Two of the dead whales – a right whale that washed up on Martha's Vineyard and a fin whale that washed up this week on the Oregon coast – were entangled in fishing gear, which federal officials, who are investigating the deaths, say is a leading cause of whale deaths. USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2024 Baleen whales—filter feeders that include blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales—make noises via a larynx, or voice box. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Feb. 2024 An endangered fin whale was found washed up on Oregon's shore in February, with officials saying it was emaciated and entangled. Li Cohen, CBS News, 14 Feb. 2024 Experts at the museum suspect the carcass was a fin whale based on the size. Don Sweeney, Sacramento Bee, 25 Feb. 2024 Humpback whales and fin whales are often seen year-round, while blue whales are more common sights during the summer, Askari said. Jeremy Childs, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fin whale.' 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

1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fin whale was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near fin whale

Cite this Entry

“Fin whale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

fin whale

: a baleen whale that may reach a length of over 70 feet (21 meters)

More from Merriam-Webster on fin whale

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