from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The elastic, horny material forming the fringed plates that hang from the upper jaw of baleen whales and strain plankton from the water. Also called baleen.
- n. An object made of this material.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The horny material from the fringed plates of the upper jaw of baleen whales that are used to filter plankton; once used as stays in corsets
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A firm, elastic substance resembling horn, taken from the upper jaw of the right whale; baleen. It is used as a stiffening in stays, fans, screens, and for various other purposes. See baleen.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The elastic horny substance which grows in place of teeth in the upper jaw of whales of the family Balænidæ (hence called whalebone or bone whales), forming a series of thin parallel plates from a few inches to several feet long; baleen (which see).
- n. Something made of whalebone or baleen; a piece of whalebone prepared for some regular use: as, the whalebones of a corset.
- n. Specifically
- n. In the middle ages, ivory from the narwhal, walrus, or other sea-creature, or supposed to be from such a source. See whale's bone, under whale, n.
- Made of or containing whalebone.
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
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The substance which we call whalebone is not true bone.
It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as “whale oil,” an inferior article in commerce.
In the seam of one of the remaining divisions is inclosed a piece of whalebone, which is drawn over the head, and forms a perfect arch, leaving the head and neck bare.
In place of teeth it has the well-known substance called whalebone, which grows from the roof of its mouth in a number of broad thin plates, extending from the back of the head to the snout.
It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as "whale oil," an inferior article in commerce.
It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as 'whale oil', an inferior article in commerce.
"baleen" or "whalebone" -- each plank being as much as eight or in rare cases twelve feet long.
The whalebone whale, again, has horny "whalebone" plates in its mouth, and no teeth; but the young foetal whale before it is born has teeth in its jaws; they, however, are never used, and they never come to anything.
The whalebone whale, again, has horny "whalebone" plates in its mouth, and no teeth; but the young foetal whale, before it is born, has teeth in its jaws; they, however, are never used, and they never come to anything.
If what one cares about is spoken English, then, the language surely “began” before it was written down, or rather inscribed on whalebone, as it was in the mid-seventh century.