fin whale


Definition of 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 In 2018 and 2019, the researchers returned to the Antarctic Peninsula for the first dedicated study of the fin whale population. New York Times, 7 July 2022 Newport Beach reports seeing 200 common dolphins and two fin whales on May 22, and one fin whale, 300 common dolphins and 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins on May 21. Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2022 Given the fin whale’s life span of around 90 years, the memory of that threat may still affect their collective behavior, such as avoiding gathering in large groups. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Mar. 2022 The acoustic library is already being used by researchers at the University of Concepción in Chile to compare blue and fin whale vocalizations over time and at different sites. The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Jan. 2022 Preliminary necropsy results show that a young fin whale that beached itself and died at Cape Henlopen State Park last week was riddled with parasites. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 28 June 2016 In addition, the carcasses of a pygmy sperm whale and a fin whale also have been found ashore. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, 25 May 2021 So far in 2021, 10 gray whales, one pygmy sperm whale and one fin whale were reported dead on San Francisco Bay Area shores, according to the California Academy of Sciences. Vanessa Arredondo, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 May 2021 Pushed and pulled by competing winds and currents in the Pacific, the carcass of an endangered fin whale recently struck by an Australian warship drifted back toward shore and washed up in Huntington Beach, making for an imposing, putrid spectacle. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fin whale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of fin whale

1885, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About fin whale

Time Traveler for fin whale

Time Traveler

The first known use of fin whale was in 1885

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near fin whale


fin whale


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fin whale

Last Updated

22 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fin whale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on fin whale Encyclopedia article about fin whale


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!