minke whale


min·​ke whale ˈmiŋ-kə- How to pronounce minke whale (audio)
variants or less commonly minke
: a small gray to black baleen whale (genus Balaenoptera) with a whitish underside and a relatively narrow, pointed snout:
: one (B. acutorostrata) chiefly of the northern hemisphere

called also common minke whale, northern minke whale

: 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 Within minutes, a minke whale’s sleek back rose just above the surface of the water. Jennifer Billock, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 Oct. 2023 For the minke whale, the increase in deaths is likely due to biological processes from infectious diseases, DiGiovanni said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 13 Sep. 2023 Local guides, such as Paul Hudd of JP Orkney, have the low down on the best places to see minke whales, basking sharks, orcas, and dolphins, as well as arranging personal island tours with Malcolm Macrae, the 12th Laird of Breckness. Lucy Alexander, Robb Report, 28 Apr. 2023 Nordic balconies, as Viking calls them, ensure everyone can hear the blow of minke whale spouts right from bed—just hit a button and the top half of floor-to-ceiling windows recedes, allowing guests to feel the fresh air from the comfort of their couch. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, 16 Mar. 2022 During the summer, Reykjavík sees higher numbers of minke whales and dolphins, while orcas congregate in West Iceland along the Snaefellsnes peninsula during the first half of the year. Brandon Presser, Travel + Leisure, 16 June 2023 There were 23 fin whales, 20 humpback whales, five minke whales and 62 bottlenose dolphins. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 14 June 2023 The four killer whales—also known as orcas—were among nearly 150 whales and dolphins that the team spotted during the seven-hour flight, including 23 fin whales counting a mother and calf, five minke whales, 62 bottlenose dolphins, and 20 humpback whales bubble feeding. Special To Seacoastonline, USA TODAY, 14 June 2023 Some whale species may readily adapt to these changing conditions—the generalist humpback whale or the small minke whale, for instance—but what about the blue whale, a specialist of cold and productive waters whose only adaptive recourse is to get bigger (and thus needier)? Eric M. Keen, Scientific American, 31 July 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'minke whale.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of minke whale was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near minke whale

Cite this Entry

“Minke whale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minke%20whale. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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