whale

Definitions

  • Two whales kiss and form a letter S
    Two whales kiss and form a letter S
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v whale hunt for whales
    • n whale any of the larger cetacean mammals having a streamlined body and breathing through a blowhole on the head
    • n whale a very large person; impressive in size or qualities
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Whale eyes are the size of a grapefruit
    • n Whale (Zoöl) 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.☞ The existing whales are divided into two groups: the toothed whales (Odontocete), including those that have teeth, as the cachalot, or sperm whale (see Sperm whale); and the baleen, or whalebone, whales (Mysticete), comprising those that are destitute of teeth, but have plates of baleen hanging from the upper jaw, as the right whales. The most important species of whalebone whales are the bowhead, or Greenland, whale (see Illust. of Right whale), the Biscay whale, the Antarctic whale, the gray whale (see under Gray), the humpback, the finback, and the rorqual.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In a day the blue whale calf drinks approximately 130 gallons of milk
    • whale To move with effort.
    • n whale Any member of the mammalian order Cetacea or Cete (which see); an ordinary cetacean, as distinguished from a sirenian, or so-called herbivorous cetacean; a marine mammal of fish-like form and habit, with fore limbs in the form of fin-like flippers, without external trace of hind limbs, and with a naked body tapering to a tail with flukes which are like a fish's caudal fin, but are horizontal instead of vertical; especially, a cetacean of large to the largest size, the small ones being distinctively named dolphins, porpoises, etc.: in popular use applied to any large marine animal. Whale is not less strictly applicable than universally applied to the toothless or whalebone whales, all of which are of great size, and some of which are by far the largest of animals. They consist of the right whales, flnner-whales, and humpbacks, composing the family Balænidæ alone, and represent live well-marked genera, namely:
    • n whale See blackfish. 2, black-whale, and Globicephalus.
    • n whale B. mysticetus is of circumpolar distribution in the northern hemisphere. It attains a length of from 40 to 50 feet, has no dorsal fin, flippers of medium size, and very long narrow flukes, tapering to a point and somewhat falcate. The greatest girth is about the middle, whence the body tapers rapidly to the comparatively slender root of the tail. The throat is smooth; the head is of great size; and the eye is situated very low down and far back, between the base of the flipper and the corner of the mouth. The profile of the mouth is strongly arched, and its capacity is enormous, exceeding that of the thorax and abdomen together. This cavern is fringed on each side with baleen hanging from the upper jaw; the plates are 350 to 400 on each side, the longest attaining a length of 10 or 12 feet; they are black in color, and finely frayed out along the inner edge into a fringe of long elastic filaments. When the jaws are closed, the baleen serves as a sieve to strain out the multitudes of small mollusks or crustaceans upon which the whale feeds, and which are gulped in with many barrels of water in the act of grazing the surface with open mouth. About 300 of the slabs on each side are merchantable, representing 15 hundredweight of bone from a whale of average size, which yields also 15 tons of oil; but some large individuals render nearly twice as much of both these products.
    • n whale The southern right whale, B. australis, differs from the polar whale in its proportionately shorter and smaller head, greater convexity of the arch of the mouth, shorter baleen, and more numerous vertebræ. ft inhabits both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in temperate latitudes, and in the former waters was the object of a fishery during the middle ages for the European supply of oil and bone. This industry gave way to the pursuit of the polar whale about the beginning of the seventeenth century. This whale has long been rare in the North Atlantic, but has occasionally stranded on the European coast, and more frequently on that of the United States. A similar if not identical right whale is hunted in temperate North Pacific waters. Right whales are rare and not pursued in tropical seas, but are objects of the chase in various parts of the south temperate ocean. See cuts above, and under Balænidæ.
    • whale To take whales; pursue the business of whale-fishing.
    • whale To lash with vigorous stripes; thrash or beat soundly.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Orca (killer) whales can grow to b 30ft long.
    • n Whale hwāl 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 Whale to take whales
    • adj Whale made of whalebone
    • n Whale the business of catching whales
    • v.t Whale hwāl (slang) to thrash.
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Quotations

  • Edmund Burke
    Edmund%20Burke
    “Spain: A whale stranded upon the coast of Europe.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Consider the whale: It never gets into trouble until it comes up and starts spouting.”

Idioms

Whale of a time - If you have a whale of a time, you really enjoy yourself.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. whal, AS. hwæl,; akin to D. wal,visch, G. wal, wal,fisch, OHG. wal, Icel. hvalr, Dan. & Sw. hval, hval,fisk. Cf. Narwhal Walrus
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Form of wale.

Usage

In literature:

The Island of Disko is also called Whale Island.
"The English at the North Pole" by Jules Verne
The whale, which lives in the ocean of the Frigid Zone, is also very useful.
"Where We Live" by Emilie Van Beil Jacobs
Look-out men were sent aloft, for they were now approaching a part of the ocean where whales were in those days likely to be found.
"The Voyage of the "Steadfast"" by W.H.G. Kingston
The whale itself, it is believed, could not exist in the warm waters of the stream.
"A Voyage round the World" by W.H.G. Kingston
Stormy weather now forced them into a sound which they named Whale Sound from the number of whales they discovered here.
"A Book of Discovery" by Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge
At length whales becoming scarce, the two captains agreed to proceed westward across the Pacific to the Japan whaling ground.
"The Two Whalers" by W.H.G. Kingston
The next day the whole crew were busily employed in getting the whale boats ready and the gear fitted.
"Archibald Hughson" by W.H.G. Kingston
Whale-oil was whale-oil then, and whale-oil and New Bedford were synonymous.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14)" by Elbert Hubbard
The whale was dead, I was sure.
"Swept Out to Sea" by W. Bertram Foster
These whales are much less than other whales, not being longer than seven ells.
"The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II" by A.E. Nordenskieold
Its enormous size and strength enabled it to seize and bear to the interior the whales on which it used to feed.
"Short Sketches from Oldest America" by John Driggs
Modern steam whaling spares no kind of whale in any kind of sea.
"All Afloat" by William Wood
At the same time he fitted out whaling vessels.
"The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 5, Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 5, May, 1886" by Various
But Portsmouth is not the place for whaling vessels, not one such being there.
"The Land of Fire" by Mayne Reid
Our three hours' sail had been a very pleasant one, and the only sail we had had in a whale-boat.
"Scenes in the Hawaiian Islands and California" by Mary Evarts Anderson
And this was a whale of a yarn.
"A Man to His Mate" by J. Allan Dunn
They get their boats in trade from the whale-ships somewhere along the Arctic.
"Young Alaskans in the Far North" by Emerson Hough
Really, the whale itself can't be far off.
"The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Hatteras" by Jules Verne
This makes me think that he must have been a shark, and not a whale, as the others assumed.
"The Last Voyage" by Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
The whale can live under water.
"The So-called Human Race" by Bert Leston Taylor
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In poetry:

And if my little girl should weep,
Little ships with torn sails
Go headlong down among the deep
Whales.
"A Mother's Song" by Francis Ledwidge
Into my ear the blushing Whale
Stammers his love. I know
Why the Rhinoceros is sad,
--Ah, child! 'twas long ago.
"The Oneness Of The Philosopher With Nature" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
It's to-day the boats are sailing
To the North Sea for the whaling:
To the high seas and the wide
They are going on the full tide.
"School" by Cicely Fox Smith
We are not what we might be; what we are
Outlaws all extrapolation
Beyond the interval of now and here:
White whales are gone with the white ocean.
"Two Lovers And A Beachcomber" by Sylvia Plath
And he says to me, "If a way there be
To murder a whale in a storm —
It's to bandage his eyes and smother his cries
With a bottle o' chloroform."
"What Ho! She Blows!" by Wallace Irwin
No doubt tomorrow the world will be too straight.
Five hundred miles an hour will churn our dreams
Like surprised whales, when we lie a dead weight
In an ignorant sleep, and things will be what they seem.
"Progression" by Francis Scarfe

In news:

Farmland and whales can be seen from a mostly coastal trail north of Cabo San Lucas.
THE EXPERIENCE Farmland, cacti, and whales are among the scenery along this mostly coastal trail about 90 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas.
Searching for friendly whales in Baja's San Ignacio Lagoon.
SeaWorld to care for 4 beached whales.
The 17 other whales died of natural causes or had to be euthanized.
Beached whales stoke island feast.
22 whales beached on Florida coast.
NOAA Monitors Beached Beluga Whales near Hope.
Whales in trouble in Turnagain Arm Tuesday evening.
Dead whale found in Boston Harbor .
50-foot whale found dead in Boston Harbor .
Dead whale, more than 50 feet long, found in Boston Harbor .
Dimon's Volcker Rule Contradiction : On Hedging, Prop Trading, And The London Whale.
The Gray Whale Obstacle Course.
Once hunted to the brink of extinction, the gray whale has made an amazing comeback in the last 80 years.
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In science:

Slow oscillations of contractile rings start from several minutes per period; the highest frequencies of active oscillations in hair cells could exceed 100kHz, e.g. during high frequency sound detection in bats and whales. I thank S.
Mechanical oscillations at the cellular scale
Whaling, “A state in C12 predicted from astrophysical evidence”, Phys.
Anthropic principle in cosmology
Oil lamps were fueled with olive oil, fis h oil, whale oil, and sesame oil.
Simple circuit theory and the solution of two electricity problems from the Victorian Age
The reason for the inclusion of noise is the fact that zooplankton interact with fish and whales which are present in even smaller numbers and are far from being evenly distributed.
Stochastic population dynamics in turbulent fields
There is no need of human culture and grandmothers teaching their grand children to explain menopause, and indeed similar effects have been observed in many animals, not just in pilot whales as was thought long ago.
The Penna Model of Biological Aging
In his talk, Benjamin Whale reported on joint work with Sue Scott, where the a-boundary and the a-boundary singularity theorem are applied to analyze the physical properties of singularities.
Report on GRG18, Session A3, Mathematical Studies of the Field Equations
F Hoyle, D N F Dunbar, W A Wenzel, and W Whaling (1953) “A state in C 12 predicted from astrophysical evidence”, Phys.
Editorial note to "Large number coincidences and the anthropic principle in cosmology"
Albarghouthi, A., Gur finkel, A., Chechik, M.: Whale: An in terpolation-based algorithm for inter-procedural veri fication.
Underapproximation of Procedure Summaries for Integer Programs
Condizioni per le quali µg   studiate attraverso la relazione di Shinn and Whale (1952).
Ionospheric HF radio propagation in problems and computer assignments
Homologous means having the same evolutionary origin, but sometimes having different functions, an example is that the wing of a bat and a paddle of a whale are homologous.
Does Meaning Evolve?
The anterior appendages of bats and whales make this clear; they are both locomotory and therefore have the same function of locomotion, but one is used in flight and the other in swimming and in that sense they have different functions.
Does Meaning Evolve?
Examples of analogous words such as these can always be argued to differ in nuance; but the difference is slight and appears to be less that the difference between the precise functions of standard biological analogues such as the functions of fins of fishes and the paddles of whales.
Does Meaning Evolve?
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