from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See whalebone.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The plates in the mouth of the baleen whale, Mysticeti, which it uses to trap its food; formerly used in corsetry
- n. a baleen whale
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A whale.
- n. The sea-bream.
- n. Whalebone in its natural state: a name given by whale-fishers.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a horny material from the upper jaws of certain whales; used as the ribs of fans or as stays in corsets
Middle English balene, from Old French baleine, from Latin balaena, whale, from Greek phalaina; see bhel-2 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French baleine ("whale, whalebone"), from Latin balaena ("whale"), from Ancient Greek φάλαινα ("whale"). (Wiktionary)