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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