Definition of dolphin in English:


Line breaks: dol|phin
Pronunciation: /ˈdɒlfɪn


  • 1A small gregarious toothed whale which typically has a beak-like snout and a curved fin on the back. Dolphins have become well known for their sociable nature and high intelligence.
    • Families Delphinidae (marine) and Platanistidae (the river dolphins): several genera and many species
    More example sentences
    • No captures of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have occurred in the US since 1989.
    • And captive bottlenose dolphins have shown themselves to be skilled at replicating computer-generated sounds.
    • We passed numerous sting rays gliding along, then a large school of spinner dolphins leaping across our bow.
  • 2 (also dolphinfish) another term for dorado ( sense 1).
    More example sentences
    • The company is currently investigating two locations for the project, which will eventually produce 2000 tonnes a year of dolphinfish for the export market.
    • One approaching construction phase is an aquaculture project breeding dolphinfish.
    • The researchers studied species, ranging from sharks to dolphinfish, that represented the different stages of fish evolution.
  • 3A bollard, pile, or buoy for mooring boats.
  • 4A structure for protecting the pier of a bridge.


late Middle English: from Old French dauphin, from Provençal dalfin, from Latin delphinus, from Greek delphin.

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