Definition of porpoise in English:

porpoise

Syllabification: por·poise
Pronunciation: /ˈpôrpəs
 
/

noun

  • A small toothed whale with a low triangular dorsal fin and a blunt rounded snout.
    • Family Phocoenidae: three genera and several species, in particular the common (or harbor) porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), of the North Atlantic and North Pacific
    More example sentences
    • Irish waters are at least seasonally home to an impressive 24 species, ranging from the tiny harbour porpoise to the giant blue whales.
    • Dolphins, porpoises and even minke whales have all been sighted, while the grey seal colony is always entertaining.
    • While the cod, pollack and haddock may have all but disappeared, you stand a good chance of spotting porpoises, minke whales and even the odd beluga.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
  • Move through the water like a porpoise, alternately rising above it and submerging: the boat began to porpoise badly
    More example sentences
    • Interrupted forms of locomotion, including wave-riding and porpoising when near the water surface or gliding when descending on a dive, enables marine mammals to mitigate some of these costs.
    • I shot off reel after reel of film on the oceanic birds following the ship, shared in the watch on the depth finder, watched whales in the distance and penguins porpoising through the water like flying fish.
    • This fish stripped virtually all the line from the reel and resulted in a fair bit of time to retrieve and then it was off again porpoising across the water - a magnificent sight.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French porpois, based on Latin porcus 'pig' + piscis 'fish', rendering earlier porcus marinus 'sea hog'.

More definitions of porpoise

Definition of porpoise in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space