whale /ˈhwe(ə)l, ˈwe(ə)l/
Whale, n. Zool. 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.
Note: ☞ 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.
Whale bird. Zool. (a) Any one of several species of large Antarctic petrels which follow whaling vessels, to feed on the blubber and floating oil; especially, Prion turtur (called also blue petrel), and Pseudoprion desolatus. (b) The turnstone; -- so called because it lives on the carcasses of whales. [Canada]
Whale fin Com., whalebone. --Simmonds.
Whale fishery, the fishing for, or occupation of taking, whales.
Whale louse Zool., any one of several species of degraded amphipod crustaceans belonging to the genus Cyamus, especially Cyamus ceti. They are parasitic on various cetaceans.
Whale's bone, ivory. [Obs.]
Whale shark. Zool. (a) The basking, or liver, shark. (b) A very large harmless shark (Rhinodon typicus) native of the Indian Ocean. It sometimes becomes sixty feet long.
Whale shot, the name formerly given to spermaceti.
Whale's tongue Zool., a balanoglossus.
n 1: a very large person; impressive in size or qualities [syn: giant,
2: any of the larger cetacean mammals having a streamlined body
and breathing through a blowhole on the head
v : hunt for whales
The Hebrew word _tan_ (plural, tannin) is so rendered in Job
7:12 (A.V.; but R.V., "sea-monster"). It is rendered by
"dragons" in Deut. 32:33; Ps. 91:13; Jer. 51:34; Ps. 74:13
(marg., "whales;" and marg. of R.V., "sea-monsters"); Isa. 27:1;
and "serpent" in Ex. 7:9 (R.V. marg., "any large reptile," and
so in ver. 10, 12). The words of Job (7:12), uttered in bitter
irony, where he asks, "Am I a sea or a whale?" simply mean,
"Have I a wild, untamable nature, like the waves of the sea,
which must be confined and held within bounds, that they cannot
pass?" "The serpent of the sea, which was but the wild, stormy
sea itself, wound itself around the land, and threatened to
swallow it up...Job inquires if he must be watched and plagued
like this monster, lest he throw the world into disorder"
The whale tribe are included under the general Hebrew name
_tannin_ (Gen. 1:21; Lam. 4:3). "Even the sea-monsters
[tanninim] draw out the breast." The whale brings forth its
young alive, and suckles them.
It is to be noticed of the story of Jonah's being "three days
and three nights in the whale's belly," as recorded in Matt.
12:40, that here the Gr. ketos means properly any kind of
sea-monster of the shark or the whale tribe, and that in the
book of Jonah (1:17) it is only said that "a great fish" was
prepared to swallow Jonah. This fish may have been, therefore,
some great shark. The white shark is known to frequent the
Mediterranean Sea, and is sometimes found 30 feet in length.