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walrus Line breaks: wal¦rus
Pronunciation: /ˈwɔːlrəs/

Definition of walrus in English:


Image of walrus
A large gregarious marine mammal related to the eared seals, having two large downward-pointing tusks and found in the Arctic Ocean.
  • Odobenus rosmarus, the only member of the family Odobenidae
Example sentences
  • Brian has concentrated on the ecological diversity of the region, with its rare flowers, walruses, Bowhead whales, bearded seals, Polar bears and sea birds.
  • Polar bears are seagoing hunters that roam vast areas of the Arctic, pursuing a movable feast of seals, narwhals, beluga whales, and walruses.
  • After an early buffet breakfast on Saturday morning, the family will spend the day at SeaWorld, home to killer whales, walruses, sea lions, beluga whales, sharks and Magellanic penguins.


Early 18th century: probably from Dutch walrus, perhaps by an inversion of elements (influenced by walvis 'whale fish') of Old Norse hrosshvalr 'horse whale'.

  • The Anglo-Saxons seem to have thought the walrus looked a bit like a horse, for they called it the horschwæl, ‘horse-whale’. We owe our name for the creature to the Dutch, who took the same idea but reversed it: the wal- bit is ‘whale’ and -rus is probably ‘horse’.

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