humpback whale


Definition of humpback whale

: a large baleen whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) that is black above and white below and has very long flippers, and fleshy tubercles along the snout

Illustration of humpback whale

Illustration of humpback whale

Examples of humpback whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two women kayaking in California got a HUGE surprise when a humpback whale breached underneath them. Brett Harman, CNN, "8 extraordinary video moments from 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 That’s less than one-quarter of the size of a full-grown megalodon, which could grow up to 15 meters, roughly the length of a humpback whale. Lucy Hicks, Science | AAAS, "Megalodon was a megalo-mom," 24 Nov. 2020 Two women kayaking in California got quite a surprise when a humpback whale breached directly beneath them. Brett Harman, CNN, "Must-watch videos of the week," 6 Nov. 2020 Two kayakers were knocked into the water Monday by a humpback whale. Anchorage Daily News, "Kayakers in California barely avoid being swallowed by a feeding humpback whale," 4 Nov. 2020 Two women received an unexpected (and dangerous) visit on Monday — from a humpback whale that overturned their kayak off the coast of California. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, "Humpback whale capsizes kayak in California, officials say two women are lucky to be alive," 4 Nov. 2020 Two kayakers in the waters off a beach in California had a very close call with a humpback whale that breached and knocked them into the water on Monday. Fox News, "Humpback whale almost swallows 2 kayakers off California coast," 3 Nov. 2020 Twice, in 1985 and 1990, a humpback whale, known as Humphrey, was lured from the San Francisco Bay with recordings of his species’ call. New York Times, "Race to Rescue Hundreds of Whales Stranded Off Tasmania," 22 Sep. 2020 The mass stranding comes as a humpback whale that got stuck in a river at Australia's at Kakadu National Park early last week finally returned to the ocean. Claudia Harmata,, "Hundreds of Whales Are Stranded on a Sandbar Near Australia, at Least 25 Have Died," 21 Sep. 2020

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

1726, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for humpback whale

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The first known use of humpback whale was in 1726

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Statistics for humpback whale

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Humpback whale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for humpback whale

humpback whale


English Language Learners Definition of humpback whale

: a type of large whale that has a curved back and very long flippers

humpback whale


Kids Definition of humpback whale

: a large whale that is black above and white below and has very long flippers

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