right whale


Definition of right whale

: any of several large baleen whales (family Balaenidae and especially genus Eubalaena) that lack a dorsal fin and have very long baleen plates, an extremely large head with a V-shaped blowhole, a smooth throat, short, broad, rounded flippers, and whitish protuberances of thickened skin about the head

Illustration of right whale

Illustration of right whale

Examples of right whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This was the first dead North Atlantic right whale to be found in U.S. waters this year. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Ninth North Atlantic Right Whale Found Dead This Year, Strengthening Extinction Concerns," 17 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, at least 10 right whales were found dead in 2019. Washington Post, "Wounded baby whale gets antibiotic shot to improve grim odds," 16 Jan. 2020 Seven right whales calves were recorded last winter during daily survey flights offshore of Georgia and Florida. USA TODAY, "Utility bill Santa, return of Ceres, Zion path secured: News from around our 50 states," 19 Dec. 2019 Mammals such as the North Atlantic right whale and Florida panther were found to be sensitive to the fewest number of factors, the study found. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Feds aren't doing enough to protect endangered species from climate change, study finds," 19 Nov. 2019 Between July and November, visitors can spot the southern right whale, humpback whale, and Bryde’s whale (seen year-round) along the bay’s cliffside paths. Gulnaz Khan, National Geographic, "Looking to escape the cold? Head to South Africa," 19 Nov. 2019 Gillnets, walls of netting that rise vertically in the ocean to catch many fish at a time, present a major risk to right whales, whose numbers have plummeted by about 20 percent since 2010. BostonGlobe.com, "Federal judge requires fishing areas off Nantucket closed to protect right whales - The Boston Globe," 29 Oct. 2019 Lastly, the team tested their method on a group of eight deceased North Pacific right whales, for which mass measurements were known, to ensure its accuracy. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Weighing a Whale Is Hard. Drones Make the Job Easier.," 2 Oct. 2019 Since the start of June, eight right whales have been found dead in Canadian waters, the Globe reported last month. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "Federal officials urge boaters to be cautious about right, humpback whales," 9 Aug. 2019

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

1725, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for right whale

Time Traveler

The first known use of right whale was in 1725

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Statistics for right whale

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Right whale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/right%20whale. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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