minke whale

min·​ke whale | \ ˈmiŋ-kə- How to pronounce minke whale (audio) \
variants: or less commonly minke

Definition of minke whale

: a small gray to black baleen whale (genus Balaenoptera) with a whitish underside and a relatively narrow, pointed snout:
a : one (B. acutorostrata) chiefly of the northern hemisphere

called also common minke whale, northern minke whale

b : one (B. bonaerensis) of the southern hemisphere that was formerly classified in the same species as the northern form

called also Antarctic minke, southern minke whale

— see rorqual

Illustration of minke whale

Illustration of minke whale

Examples of minke whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Rescuers freed an 18-foot minke whale entangled in fishing gear off the coast of Cape Ann last week and managed to keep it away from a great white shark that was lurking in the area, officials said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "Entangled minke whale freed from fishing gear off Cape Ann while shark lurked nearby," 7 Aug. 2019 That’s a total of, at most, about 5,000 tons—roughly equivalent to 830 minke whales. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Whale watching in Japan is on the rise, even as commercial hunts are set to resume," 15 Mar. 2019 For the first time in over 30 years, two minke whales were harpooned by Japanese whaling boats and brought back to port for commercial purposes. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling After Three-Decade Break and Kills Two Whales on the First Day," 3 July 2019 The two minke whales that were harpooned are the first to be killed by Japan for commercial purposes in more than 30 years. Ivan Watson And Michelle Lou, CNN, "Commercial whaling has been banned for three decades. Japan just resumed it with two kills," 2 July 2019 Type A killer whales look similar to typical orcas (which are found worldwide), but mainly feed on minke whales; type Bs are smaller and many eat seals; type Cs go after fish. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "Mysterious new orca species likely identified," 7 Mar. 2019 LaCasse said minke whales are commonly seen in New England, especially along Stellwagen Bank. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "Dead whale spotted at Wollaston Beach in Quincy," 18 May 2018 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, SFChronicle.com, "Chart-buster times: salmon to whales, bears to bighorns," 8 July 2018 The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration declared an unusual mortality event for minke whales this year, LaCasse said. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "Dead whale spotted at Wollaston Beach in Quincy," 18 May 2018

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

1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for minke whale

partial translation of Norwegian minkehval, from minke- (perhaps from Meincke, a crewman of Svend Foyn †1894 Norwegian whaler) + hval whale

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minke whale

mink frog



Statistics for minke whale

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for minke whale

The first known use of minke whale was in 1939

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