Share this entry

Mysticeti Syllabification: Mys·ti·ce·ti
Pronunciation: /ˌmistəˈsēˌtī/

Definition of Mysticeti in English:

A division of the whales that comprises the baleen whales.
Example sentences
  • Modern whales may be divided into two subgroups: the Odontoceti (toothed whales) and the Mysticeti (baleen whales).
  • The extant sub-orders are the Mysticeti (baleen whales) and the Odontoceti (toothed whales).
  • Estimates for Tragulidae, Odontoceti, and Mysticeti are generally younger and close together in time, followed by a still more recent divergence of cervids, bovids, antilocaprids and giraffids.


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek mustikētos representing (in old editions of Aristotle) the phrase ho mus to kētos 'the mouse, the whale so called'.



Pronunciation: /ˈmistəˌsēt/
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • Both the mysticetes and odontocetes are thought to be descendants of the archaeocetes.
  • This anatomic geometry supports the idea of acoustic frequency filtering and channeling functions in odontocetes and low frequency hearing in mysticetes.
  • Interestingly, the late Oligocene whale Aetiocetus, from Oregon, has skull and jaw features typical of baleen whales, and is considered to be the earliest mysticete - yet it also bore a full set of teeth.

Definition of Mysticeti in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: iˈnäkyo͞oəs
not harmful or offensive