minke whale

noun
min·​ke whale | \ˈmiŋ-kə- \
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

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Illustration of minke whale

Examples of minke whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Japanese hunters caught and killed 122 pregnant minke whales during the annual summer hunt off the coast of Antarctica last year, a report has found. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Japanese Hunters Kill 122 Pregnant Minke Whales for 'Scientific Research'," 31 May 2018 Figures show that 128 of the 333 minke whales caught during the 12-week expedition in the Southern Ocean were female. Bard Wilkinson, CNN, "Japanese hunters kill 120 pregnant minke whales," 30 May 2018 Modern baleen whales include many of the world’s largest cetaceans, such as blue, fin, humpback, right, bowhead, and minke whales. National Geographic, "Prehistoric Toothless Whale Among Oldest of Its Kind," 19 Apr. 2018 Other filter-feeding baleen whales like blue, fin and minke whales produce much simpler songs that are more or less the same every year. Will Dunham, Anchorage Daily News, "Arctic jazz: Bowhead whales have an amazingly diverse songbook," 4 Apr. 2018 The conventional thinking has been that minke whales mainly chase krill, Eisert said. Nick Perry, chicagotribune.com, "Researcher captures striking Antarctic video of minke whale," 21 Mar. 2018 The conventional thinking has been that minke whales mainly chase krill, Eisert said. Washington Post, "Researcher captures striking Antarctic video of minke whale," 21 Mar. 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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The first known use of minke whale was in 1939

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