killer whale

noun
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of killer whale

: a relatively small toothed whale (Orcinus orca of the family Delphinidae) that is black above with white underparts and white oval-shaped patches behind the eyes, attains a length of 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters), typically hunts in groups, and preys chiefly on sea mammals (such as seals, sea lions, and other whales), large fish, and squid called also orca

Recent Examples of killer whale from the Web

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

First Known Use of killer whale

1884


KILLER WHALE Defined for English Language Learners

killer whale

noun

Definition of killer whale for English Language Learners

  • : a black-and-white whale that kills and eats other animals (such as seals)


KILLER WHALE Defined for Kids

killer whale

noun

Definition of killer whale for Students

: a toothed whale that is mostly black above and white below and feeds especially on fish, squid, birds, and sea mammals (as seals)

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