whal·​ing | \ ˈ(h)wā-liŋ How to pronounce whaling (audio) \

Definition of whaling

: the occupation of catching and extracting commercial products from whales

Examples of whaling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many humpback whale populations, previously devastated by commercial whaling, are making a comeback. Dr. Kirsten Thompson, Time, "Humpback Whales Have Made a Remarkable Recovery, Giving Us Hope for the Planet," 16 May 2020 Since resuming whaling in 2003 after a 14-year pause, the island nation has killed 1,505 whales. Kieran Mulvaney, National Geographic, "Commercial whaling may be over in Iceland," 1 May 2020 Iceland already harvested the lowest number of whales among the whaling holdouts, which include Japan and Norway. Kieran Mulvaney, National Geographic, "Commercial whaling may be over in Iceland," 1 May 2020 By 1951, when one was documented as having been killed illegally at a whaling station in Coal Harbor, British Columbia, the North Pacific rights had all but vanished. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, "Searching for the World's Most Endangered Whale," 27 Apr. 2020 That could be because commercial whaling bans have boosted the number of cetaceans in the sea, allowing whales to find mates without having to shout. Emily Anthes, New York Times, "The Sound of One Shrimp Snapping," 21 Apr. 2020 Under its research whaling, Japan caught as many as 1,200 whales a year. Washington Post, "Japan returns to business of whale hunting. But whales may be better off.," 2 July 2019 Whale populations, for example, are finally coming back after being decimated by the whaling industry. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Parasitic Worm Commonly Found in Sushi is Thriving in Nature," 4 Apr. 2020 In the nineteenth century, the Southern Ocean became the stage for the revival of the whaling industry, which over four thousand years had depleted whale populations in the Northern Hemisphere. Lucy Jakub, Harper's magazine, "A View to a Krill," 2 Mar. 2020

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

1688, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whaling

Time Traveler for whaling

Time Traveler

The first known use of whaling was in 1688

See more words from the same year

Statistics for whaling

Last Updated

11 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whaling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whaling. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whaling


How to pronounce whaling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whaling

: the job or business of hunting whales

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on whaling

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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