pilot whale


Definition of pilot whale

: either of two dark gray to black, medium-sized toothed whales (Globicephala melas and G. macrorhynchus) of temperate to tropical waters that have a large rounded forehead and short snout and typically feed on squid and small fish

called also blackfish

Examples of pilot whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2018, The Washington Post reported, a pilot whale’s body was found off of Thailand with 17 pounds of plastic bags inside. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "88 Pounds of Plastic Was Discovered in a Beached Whale Found in the Philippines," 19 Mar. 2019 Other animals belonging to that category are killer whales and pilot whales. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Scientists Discover Whale-Dolphin Hybrid Near Hawaii," 29 July 2018 The pilot whale wasn’t the only recent casualty of ocean pollution; in April, a 33-foot sperm whale found dead on a Spanish beach had more than 60 lb of garbage in its digestive system. Eli Meixler, Time, "A Pilot Whale Has Died in Southern Thailand After Swallowing 17 Pounds of Plastic Waste," 4 June 2018 Nearly 150 pilot whales were discovered on a remote beach in New Zealand last weekend, having all stranded themselves on the shore for an unknown reason. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Nearly 150 Pilot Whales Washed Up on a Beach in New Zealand," 27 Nov. 2018 The crews were hoping for a better outcome than from an unrelated stranding over the weekend in which all 145 pilot whales died. Nick Perry, The Seattle Times, "6 whales refloated after stranding on New Zealand beach," 28 Nov. 2018 In 2015, after years of travel, research and writing, Nilsson published The Nordic Cookbook, 767 pages of dishes such as mutton and herring casserole from Finland, boiled pilot whale from the Faeroe Islands and Swedish Christmas ham. Howie Kahn, WSJ, "Magnus Nilsson’s ‘The Nordic Baking Book’ is a Bible for Bakers," 12 Oct. 2018 Veterinarians say the sick pilot whale may have thought the plastic bags and other debris were food. David Carrig, USA TODAY, "Top 10 trash items found littering our beaches and waterways — and the weirdest," 27 June 2018 The pilot whale’s death offers yet another disturbing reminder of the dire impact of pollution on the world’s marine creatures. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Whale Dies in Thailand With 80 Plastic Bags in Its Stomach," 5 June 2018

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

1867, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near pilot whale

pilot truck

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pilot whale

pilot wheel



Statistics for pilot whale

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for pilot whale

The first known use of pilot whale was in 1867

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pilot whale

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pilot whale

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