Definition of beluga in English:


Line breaks: be¦luga
Pronunciation: /bəˈluːgə

noun (plural same or belugas)

  • 1A small white toothed whale related to the narwhal, living in herds mainly in Arctic coastal waters. Also called white whale.
    • Delphinapterus leucas, family Monodontidae
    More example sentences
    • Dolphins and porpoises are examples of odontocetes, as are belugas, narwhals, killer whales, sperm whales, and beaked whales.
    • The Antarctic lacks small resident toothed whales like the beluga and the narwhal of the Arctic.
    • In addition to killing over 200 fin and minke whales, Greenlandic hunters also kill a large, but unknown, number of small whales each year, including belugas, narwhals, pilot whales and orcas.
  • 2A very large sturgeon occurring in the inland seas and associated rivers of central Eurasia.
    • Huso huso, family Acipenseridae
    More example sentences
    • Weary fishermen stand waist deep in chilly water and strain every muscle, fighting to subdue the gigantic beluga, great white sturgeon, which they have netted in the muddy Ural river.
    • Most beluga sturgeon were historically found in the Caspian Sea.
    • Then in October 2004 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the beluga sturgeon as endangered.
  • 2.1 (also beluga caviar) [mass noun] Caviar obtained from the beluga sturgeon.
    More example sentences
    • Female beluga sturgeon are considered the world's most valuable commercially harvested fish because they supply beluga caviar, one of the most highly prized delicacies in the world.
    • Female beluga can produce 12% of their body weight in caviar and beluga caviar can demand $200 / kg.
    • You whisk the eggs strenuously with a lot of milk and you put the result in a very hot, buttered frying pan and in a minute or less you plonk them on some toast, preferably with some beluga caviar.


late 16th century (in sense 2): from Russian belukha (sense 1), beluga (sense 2), both from belyĭ 'white'.

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