Definition of porpoise
1 : any of a family (Phocoenidae) of small gregarious toothed whales; especially : a blunt-snouted usually dark gray whale (Phocoena phocoena) of the North Atlantic and North Pacific that typically ranges from 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) in length
2 : dolphin 1a(1) —not used technically ◆While not closely related, porpoises and dolphins share a physical resemblance that often leads to misidentification. Porpoises typically have flat, spade-shaped teeth, triangular dorsal fins, and shortened beaks with relatively small mouths while dolphins have cone-shaped teeth, curved dorsal fins, and elongated beaks with larger mouths.
Recent Examples of porpoise from the Web
Kompanje had been planning an MRI for the porpoises.
Garbage, often. Porpoises, sometimes, for the shores of the Netherlands are teeming with hundreds of thousands of them.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature states that incidental catch is the biggest threat facing porpoises.
The actor met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday in an effort to save a nearly extinct porpoise known as the vaquita.
Aimed at protecting the vaquita porpoise that is endemic to the upper gulf, the measure includes compensation payments to local fishermen in Baja California and neighboring Sonora.
A dozen porpoises swam past, between the near ship and the shore.
Vaquita porpoises are often caught in the nets, causing their population to drop to about 30.
Porpoises accompanied our cruise through the Indian River Lagoon to Ponce Inlet at the northern tip of the barrier island.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'porpoise'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Definition of porpoise
1 : to leap or plunge like a porpoise penguins … porpoise out of the water — David Lewis
2 : to rise and fall repeatedly
First Known Use of porpoise
PORPOISE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of porpoise for English Language Learners
: a small usually gray and white whale that has a rounded nose
PORPOISE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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