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

Tongan hospitality is world renowned; your islands are stunningly beautiful offering tourists rugged coastlines, humpback whales and coral reefs. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Just Honored Her Friend Queen Salote, Tonga's 6-Foot Queen Who Reigned for 48 Years," 25 Oct. 2018 By Carrie Arnold PUBLISHED April 3, 2018 In the never-ending symphony of the sea, there's a standout among the percussive pings of bottlenose dolphins and the plaintive calls of humpback whales. National Geographic, "These Mysterious Whales Are the Jazz Musicians Of the Sea," 3 Apr. 2018 The book opens in Antarctica with the tagging of a humpback whale. Karin Altenberg, WSJ, "What to Give: Nature Books," 15 Nov. 2018 There were exhibition halls lined with butterfly cases and dinosaur bones; rooms filled with rare indigenous objects; the skeleton of a humpback whale. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Brazil Mourns Loss of Rio de Janeiro's National Museum After Devastating Fire," 4 Sep. 2018 Initially, Ellenbogen and his camera were reportedly focused on a humpback whale swimming nearby. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "16-foot great white shark comes within 'arm's length' of underwater photographer," 24 Aug. 2018 Since its passage in 1973, it’s been credited with helping the rebound of the bald eagle, the grizzly bear, the humpback whale, and many other species living throughout the US and in its waterways. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The Endangered Species Act is incredibly popular. The administration is seeking to weaken it anyway.," 20 July 2018 That's because hundreds of humpback whales are massing in this area, and scientists have no idea why. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Whales Are Swarming Near South Africa and No One Knows Why," 16 Mar. 2017 Out of San Francisco, the Ocean Society made a trip to the Farallon Islands and sighted 15 humpback whales, five blue whales, one minke whale, 70 Risso’s dolphins, five northern right whale dolphins, and 80 Pacific white-sided dolphins. Tom Stienstra,, "Chart-buster times: salmon to whales, bears to bighorns," 8 July 2018

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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Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for humpback whale

The first known use of humpback whale was in 1726

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on humpback whale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with humpback whale Encyclopedia article about humpback whale

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