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whale

whale Any of several species of large aquatic mammals; it has a fish-like body with paddle-like flippers, and a tail flattened horizontally into flukes for locomotion. It spends its whole life in water. Two main groups exist: toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed whales (Odontoceti) have simple teeth and feed primarily on fish and squid. They include the bottle-nosed whale, sperm whale, and beluga. Baleen whales (Mysticeti), including the right whale, blue whale, and California grey whale, have no teeth but carry comb-like plates of horny material (baleen or whalebone) in the roof of the mouth. These form a sieve, through which the whales strain krill on which they feed. Order Cetacea. The order also includes dolphins and porpoises. See also whaling

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whale

whale1 / (h)wāl/ • n. (pl. same or whales ) a very large marine mammal (order Cetacea) with a streamlined hairless body, a horizontal tail fin, and a blowhole on top of the head for breathing. See baleen whale and toothed whale. whale2 • v. [tr.] inf. beat; hit: Dad came upstairs and whaled me | [intr.] they whaled at the water with their paddles.

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whale

whale OE. hwǣl = OHG. wal (in modG. walfisch), ON. hvalr, rel. to OHG. walira, (M)HG. wels (:- *χwalis) sheath-fish. The present form reflects obl. cases of OE. hwæl. Comp. whalebone elastic bony substance of the upper jaw of whales XVII.

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whale

whale in early translations of the Bible, a whale is given as the ‘great fish’ which swallowed Jonah. A whale is the emblem of St Brendan and the 6th–7th bishop St Malo, who is regarded as the apostle of Brittany.

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whale

whaleail, ale, assail, avail, bail, bale, bewail, brail, Braille, chain mail, countervail, curtail, dale, downscale, drail, dwale, entail, exhale, fail, faille, flail, frail, Gael, Gail, gale, Grail, grisaille, hail, hale, impale, jail, kale, mail, male, nail, nonpareil, outsail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sail, sale, sangrail, scale, shale, snail, stale, swale, tail, tale, they'll, trail, upscale, vail, vale, veil, wail, wale, whale, Yale •Passchendaele • Airedale •Wensleydale • Clydesdale •Chippendale • Coverdale • Abigail •galingale • martingale • nightingale •farthingale • Windscale • timescale •blackmail • airmail •email, female •Ishmael • voicemail • vermeil

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