What does whale mean?

Definitions for whale
ʰweɪl, weɪlwhale

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word whale.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. giant, hulk, heavyweight, whalenoun

    a very large person; impressive in size or qualities

  2. whaleverb

    any of the larger cetacean mammals having a streamlined body and breathing through a blowhole on the head

  3. whaleverb

    hunt for whales

Wiktionary

  1. whalenoun

    Any of several species of large sea mammals.

  2. whalenoun

    Something, or someone, that is very large.

  3. whalenoun

    (In a casino) a person who routinely bets at the maximum limit allowable.

  4. whaleverb

    To hunt for whales.

  5. whaleverb

    To flog, to beat.

  6. Etymology: from hwæl, from hwalaz (compare German Wal, Danish hval), from (s)kʷálos 'sheatfish' (compare German Wels, Latin squalus, Old Prussian kalis, Ancient Greek ἄσπαλος, Avestan...).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Whalenoun

    The largest of fish; the largest of the animals that inhabit this globe.

    Etymology: hwale , Saxon.

    God created the great whales. Genesis.

    Barr’d up with ribs of whale-bone, she did leese
    None of the whale ’s length, for it reach’d her knees. Richard Corbet.

    The greatest whale that swims the sea,
    Does instantly my pow’r obey. Jonathan Swift.

Wikipedia

  1. Whale

    Whales are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully aquatic placental marine mammals. They are an informal grouping within the infraorder Cetacea, which usually excludes dolphins and porpoises. Whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order Cetartiodactyla, which consists of even-toed ungulates. Their closest non-cetacean living relatives are the hippopotamuses, from which they and other cetaceans diverged about 54 million years ago. The two parvorders of whales, baleen whales (Mysticeti) and toothed whales (Odontoceti), are thought to have had their last common ancestor around 34 million years ago. Whales consist of eight extant families: Balaenopteridae (the rorquals), Balaenidae (right whales), Cetotheriidae (the pygmy right whale), Eschrichtiidae (the grey whale), Monodontidae (belugas and narwhals), Physeteridae (the sperm whale), Kogiidae (the dwarf and pygmy sperm whale), and Ziphiidae (the beaked whales). Whales are fully aquatic, open-ocean creatures: they can feed, mate, give birth, suckle and raise their young at sea. Whales range in size from the 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) and 135 kilograms (298 lb) dwarf sperm whale to the 29.9 metres (98 ft) and 190 metric tons (210 short tons) blue whale, which is the largest known creature that has ever lived. The sperm whale is the largest toothed predator on earth. Several whale species exhibit sexual dimorphism, in that the females are larger than males. Baleen whales have no teeth; instead they have plates of baleen, fringe-like structures that enable them to expel the huge mouthfuls of water they take in, while retaining the krill and plankton they feed on. Because their heads are enormous—making up as much as 40% of their total body mass—and they have throat pleats that enable then to expand their mouths, they are able to take huge quantities of water into their mouth at a time. Baleen whales also have a well developed sense of smell. Toothed whales, in contrast, have conical teeth adapted to catching fish or squid. They also have such keen hearing—whether above or below the surface of the water—that some can survive even if they are blind. Some species, such as sperm whales, are particularly well adapted for diving to great depths to catch squid and other favoured prey. Whales evolved from land-living mammals, and must regularly surface to breathe air, although they can remain under water for long periods of time. Some species, such as the sperm whale can stay underwater for up to 90 minutes They have blowholes (modified nostrils) located on top of their heads, through which air is taken in and expelled. They are warm-blooded, and have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin. With streamlined fusiform bodies and two limbs that are modified into flippers, whales can travel at speeds of up to 20 knots, though they are not as flexible or agile as seals. Whales produce a great variety of vocalizations, notably the extended songs of the humpback whale. Although whales are widespread, most species prefer the colder waters of the northern and southern hemispheres, and migrate to the equator to give birth. Species such as humpbacks and blue whales are capable of travelling thousands of miles without feeding. Males typically mate with multiple females every year, but females only mate every two to three years. Calves are typically born in the spring and summer; females bear all the responsibility for raising them. Mothers in some species fast and nurse their young for one to two years. Once relentlessly hunted for their products, whales are now protected by international law. The North Atlantic right whales nearly became extinct in the twentieth century, with a population low of 450, and the North Pacific grey whale population is ranked Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Besides the threat from whalers, they also face threats from bycatch and marine pollution. The meat, blubber and baleen of whales have traditionally been used by indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Whales have been depicted in various cultures worldwide, notably by the Inuit and the coastal peoples of Vietnam and Ghana, who sometimes hold whale funerals. Whales occasionally feature in literature and film. A famous example is the great white whale in Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick. Small whales, such as belugas, are sometimes kept in captivity and trained to perform tricks, but breeding success has been poor and the animals often die within a few months of capture. Whale watching has become a form of tourism around the world.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Whalenoun

    any aquatic mammal of the order Cetacea, especially any one of the large species, some of which become nearly one hundred feet long. Whales are hunted chiefly for their oil and baleen, or whalebone

  2. Etymology: [OE. whal, AS. hwl; akin to D. walvisch, G. wal, walfisch, OHG. wal, Icel. hvalr, Dan. & Sw. hval, hvalfisk. Cf. Narwhal, Walrus.]

Freebase

  1. Whale

    Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to the suborder Odontoceti. This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale. The other Cetacean suborder, Mysticeti, comprises filter feeders that eat small organisms caught by straining seawater through a comblike structure found in the mouth called baleen. This suborder includes the blue whale, the humpback whale, the bowhead whale and the minke whale. All cetaceans have forelimbs modified as fins, a tail with horizontal flukes, and nasal openings on top of the head. Whales range in size from the blue whale, the largest animal known to have ever existed at 30 m and 180 tonnes, to various pygmy species, such as the pygmy sperm whale at 3.5 m. Whales collectively inhabit all the world's oceans and number in the millions, with annual population growth rate estimates for various species ranging from 3% to 13%.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Whale

    hwāl, n. the common name of a cetaceous mammal, the largest of sea-animals, including the toothed whales, such as Sperm Whale and Dolphin, and the whalebone whales, such as Right Whale and Rorqual, in which the teeth are only embryonic.—v.i. to take whales.—ns. Whale′-back, a boat whose maindecks are covered in and rounded, for rough seas; Whale′-boat, a long, narrow boat used in the pursuit of whales; Whale′bone, a light flexible substance consisting of the baleen plates of the Arctic and allied whales.—adj. made of whalebone.—ns. Whale′-calf, a young whale—also Calf whale; Whale′-fish′er, one engaged in whale-fishery or the hunting of whales; Whale′-fish′ery; Whale′-fish′ing; Whale′-line, strong rope used for harpoon-lines in the whale-fishery; Whale′-louse, a genus of Crustacea, parasitic on the skin of Cetaceans; Whale′-man, Whāl′er, a person employed in whale-fishing; Whale′-oil, oil obtained from the blubber of a whale; Whāl′er, Whale′ship, a ship employed in the whale-fishing; Whāl′ery, whaling.—adj. Whāl′ing, connected with whale-catching.—n. the business of catching whales.—ns. Whāl′ing-gun, a contrivance for killing whales by means of a projectile; Whāl′ing-mas′ter, the captain of a whaler; Whāl′ing-port, a port where whalers are registered.—Whale's bone, ivory.—Bull whale, an adult male whale. [A.S. hwæl (Ice. hvalr, Ger. walfisch); orig. unknown.]

  2. Whale

    hwāl, v.t. (slang) to thrash. [Form of wale.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. whale

    A general term for various marine animals of the order Cetacea, including the most colossal of all animated beings. From their general form and mode of life they are frequently confounded with fish, from which, however, they differ essentially in their organization, as they are warm-blooded, ascend to the surface to breathe air, produce their young alive, and suckle them, as do the land mammalia. The cetacea are divided into two sections:--1. Those having horny plates, called baleen, or "whalebone," growing from the palate instead of teeth, and including the right whales and rorquals, or finners and hump-backs (see these terms). 2. Those having true teeth and no whalebone. To this group belong the sperm-whale, and the various forms of bottle-noses, black-fish, grampuses, narwhals, dolphins, porpoises, &c. To the larger species of many of these the term "whale" is often applied.

Editors Contribution

  1. whale

    A type of animal.

    Whales are marine animals.


    Submitted by MaryC on March 8, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. whale

    Song lyrics by whale -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by whale on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'whale' in Nouns Frequency: #2492

How to pronounce whale?

How to say whale in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of whale in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of whale in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of whale in a Sentence

  1. Ikuyo Wakabayashi:

    You don't just see one type of whale here, you see lots of them, whale-watching is a huge tourist resource for Rausu and this will continue, I hope.

  2. William Friedkin:

    I was like Captain Ahab pursuing the whale. [I had] a supreme confidence, a kind of sleepwalker’s assurance, as successful as the film was, I wouldn’t do that now. I had put people’s lives in danger.

  3. Allison Warden:

    I don't know what our culture would be without whaling. It's at the center of everything we do, it's a different relationship than just going to the grocery store. The whale feeds the entire community.

  4. Mackie Greene:

    They got the whale totally disentangled and then some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big flip, joe definitely would not want us to stop because of this.

  5. Bruce Wells:

    My hunch on the Ditka quote is that it comes from a quirk of the King James translation, ancient Hebrew had a particular way of saying things like, 'and the next thing that happened was...' The King James translators of the Old Testament consistently rendered this as 'and it came to pass.' '' When phantom Bible passages turn dangerous People may get verses wrong, but they also mangle plenty of well-known biblical stories as well. Two examples: The scripture never says a whale swallowed Jonah, the Old Testament prophet, nor did any New Testament passages say that three wise men visited baby Jesus, scholars say. Those details may seem minor, but scholars say one popular phantom Bible story stands above the rest: The Genesis story about the fall of humanity. Most people know the popular version - Satan in the guise of a serpent tempts Eve to pick the forbidden apple from the Tree of Life. It's been downhill ever since. But the story in the book of Genesis never places Satan in the Garden of Eden.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

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Translations for whale

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