• WordNet 3.6
    • n baleen a horny material from the upper jaws of certain whales; used as the ribs of fans or as stays in corsets
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Baleen bȧ*lēn" (Zoöl. & Com) Plates or blades of “whalebone,” from two to twelve feet long, and sometimes a foot wide, which in certain whales (Balænoidea) are attached side by side along the upper jaw, and form a fringelike sieve by which the food is retained in the mouth.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n baleen A whale.
    • n baleen The sea-bream.
    • n baleen Whalebone in its natural state: a name given by whale-fishers.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Baleen bā-lēn′ the whalebone of commerce.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. baleine, whale and whalebone, L. balaena, a whale; cf. Gr. fa`laina.
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.—L. balæna, whale.


In literature:

A handle is carved out of a whale's tooth, and insets of baleen, silver, cocoa-tree, or ebony, give variety and finish.
"The Cruise of the Cachalot" by Frank T. Bullen
The Greenland whale is one of the most wonderful animals in the world, and the baleen, or whalebone, one of its greatest peculiarities.
"On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin
It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as "whale oil," an inferior article in commerce.
"Moby Dick; or The Whale" by Herman Melville
Another Arctic titbit is that fleshy cushion of the jaw of the whale which in life holds the baleen.
"The New North" by Agnes Deans Cameron
The latter contains the baleen whales.
"Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon" by Robert A. Sterndale
He has enormous teeth or tushes in the lower jaw, but has no baleen.
"Ranching, Sport and Travel" by Thomas Carson
Plates of baleen, 40.
"On the Genesis of Species" by St. George Mivart
When we had got the baleen inboard, however, the more disagreeable work of "flensing" began.
"Swept Out to Sea" by W. Bertram Foster
So Garboy shut up, and we are bound north after the baleen.
"Fire Mountain" by Norman Springer
Right front one-third to one-fifth of baleen plates, yellowish white.
"Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the Western North Atlantic" by Stephen Leatherwood

In news:

Fatty ears help baleen whales hear.
Artic Raven owner Lee Brooks recently returned from the Saint Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea with fossilized whalebone, baleen and walrus ivory sculpture and jewelry from the Siberian Yup'ik, for this year's show.
A genetic analysis of Antarctic minke whales reveals these small baleen whales are not more populous now as a result of the intensive hunting of larger whales last century.
This fossilized whale, probably a baleen, was 18 feet long.
Carving Material: Baleen Value Range: $8,000.
Rights and other baleen-feeding whales use a comblike strainer of baleen plates and bristles to ensnare tiny morsels of food as they swim.
Right whales feed on zooplankton and other tiny organisms using baleens up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) long.
Pulsing sounds made by technology used to monitor fish stocks may affect how baleen whales communicate, even at great distances.
The mechanism is theorized to be a technique called "cross-flow filtration," similar to some bony fish and baleen whales .
F or large baleen whales , the approach of a vessel once meant great danger, and those that knew better dived for the depths.
Whales contributed oil for illuminants, ambergris for perfumes, and baleen, a bonelike substance extracted from the jaw, for umbrellas.
Baleen, or whale cartilage, could hold together a corset.
In a mysterious relationship that spanned a century, killer whales would force baleen whales into a bay on the 03:15.