whale shark

noun

Definition of whale shark

: a shark (Rhincodon typus) of warm waters that has small teeth, feeds chiefly on plankton strained by its gill rakers, may sometimes attain a length of up to 60 feet (18.3 meters), and is the largest known fish

Examples of whale shark in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The carcasses washed up on the beach range in size from small bait fish to a 26-foot-long whale shark. Jonathan Serrie, Fox News, "Red tide along Florida coast has killed at least 300 tons of fish," 15 Aug. 2018 In addition to creatures such as fish, sea turtles and manatees being impacted, larger marine life, such as whale sharks are also at risk. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES: Dead fish, turtles, manatees wash up on southwest Florida beaches," 3 Aug. 2018 The whale shark Krivohlavek saw was reportedly around 20-25 feet long. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "A Rare Whale Shark Was Spotted Off the Coast of Charleston," 7 Nov. 2018 The red tide has made breathing difficult for locals, scared away tourists, and strewn popular beaches with the stinking carcasses of fish, eels, porpoises, turtles, manatees and one 26-foot whale shark. Kate Furby, The Seattle Times, "Red tide algae’s deadly toll on sea life has triggered a state of emergency in Florida," 14 Aug. 2018 Research the operators of whale shark tours before booking to ensure your experience is with one that adheres to safety and sustainability standards. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Islands in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 Researchers believe this particular red tide occurrence — which has been building since last fall — is responsible for the deaths of at least 12 dolphins, more than 150 sea turtles, and a 26-foot whale shark, NPR reported. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Florida’s Red Tide is Killing Hundreds of Sea Animals," 16 Aug. 2018 In late July, a 26-foot long (8-meter-long) whale shark washed ashore on Sanibel Island, which is known for its pristine beaches. Tamara Lush, The Seattle Times, "Devastating toxic algae bloom plagues Florida’s Gulf Coast," 14 Aug. 2018 This includes: kayaks, Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats; scuba and snorkeling gear; video cameras for recording encounters with whale sharks; and hydrophones for listening to whales. Mark Childress, WSJ, "The Debate Over Cruise Vacations: Wonderful or Torturous?," 14 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whale shark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of whale shark

circa 1885, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whale shark

Share whale shark

Statistics for whale shark

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whale shark

The first known use of whale shark was circa 1885

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on whale shark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whale shark

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whale shark

Comments on whale shark

What made you want to look up whale shark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!