hump·​back | \ ˈhəmp-ˌbak How to pronounce humpback (audio) , for sense 1 also -ˈbak\

Definition of humpback

1 : a humped or crooked back also : kyphosis

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Examples of humpback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

During a whale-watching trip last week, wildlife photographer Chase Dekker stared in awe as a humpback surfaced and engulfed a sea lion in its mouth. Sarah Keartes, National Geographic, "How a humpback whale ended up with a sea lion in its mouth," 30 July 2019 Unlike the humpbacks, which populate the whole West Coast, this region’s resident orca whales are endangered, dwindling to 75 southern residents. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Whale-ferry collision in Seattle’s Elliott Bay a byproduct of humpback revival, and could become more common," 30 May 2019 Some whale species, like the humpback, have recovered from centuries of hunting while others, like the North Atlantic right whale and Sei whale, are still endangered. Doug Johnson, Quartz, "Elephants and whales could give us the cure for cancer—unless we keep killing them," 14 Aug. 2019 In this case, the song sounds like pattern of loud gunshots, not the sinuous, haunting melodies of the humpback. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Listen to the First Known Song of the North Pacific Right Whale," 24 June 2019 Channel Islands National Park, California Astride the migration route of humpbacks, orcas, and gray whales and home at any one time to 30,000 seals and sea lions, the Southern California archipelago is renowned for marine mammals. Joe Yogerst, National Geographic, "Top 10 wildlife encounters in parks," 9 Apr. 2019 Dekker followed up a day later with another photo, describing the scene of 5 humpbacks lunge feeding in close quarters with around 300 sea lions. Fox News, "California photographer snaps sea lion ‘trapped’ in humpback whale’s mouth: ‘The true Jonah experience’," 31 July 2019 While the humpbacks were lunge feeding on a school of anchovies, a sea lion apparently didn't jump out of the way fast enough and got trapped inside the whales mouth! Sophie Sherry And Justin Lear, CNN, "A rare photograph shows a sea lion trapped in the mouth of a humpback whale," 30 July 2019 But those that spend significant time near the surface — such as right whales and humpbacks — are especially vulnerable, said Vanessa Pirotta, a marine biologist at Macquarie University in Sydney. NBC News, "High-tech thermal cameras could protect whales from deadly collisions with ships," 5 July 2019

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

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for humpback

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for humpback

The first known use of humpback was in 1697

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More Definitions for humpback


hump·​back | \ ˈhəmp-ˌbak How to pronounce humpback (audio) \

Kids Definition of humpback

1 : a humped or crooked back

Other Words from humpback

humpbacked \ -​ˈbakt \ adjective


hump·​back | \ -ˌbak, for 1 also -ˈbak\

Medical Definition of humpback

1 : a humped or crooked back also : kyphosis

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More from Merriam-Webster on humpback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with humpback

Spanish Central: Translation of humpback

Nglish: Translation of humpback for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of humpback for Arabic Speakers

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