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sperm whale

Syllabification: sperm whale

Definition of sperm whale in English:

noun

A toothed whale with a massive head, typically feeding at great depths on squid, formerly valued for the spermaceti and sperm oil in its head and the ambergris in its intestines.
Example sentences
  • This anatomical quirk occurs only in toothed whales - including the sperm whale, narwhal, orca, and porpoise - and it helps explain an old maritime mystery.
  • ‘He must know we have the paparazzi on board,’ muses Lisa Steiner as the massive bulk of a sperm whale cruises gracefully across the bow of our boat.
  • The sperm whale, a toothed mammal whose lower jaw resembles a vast surfboard with peaked crenellations at its edges, has been found at 3000 metres.

Origin

mid 19th century: sperm, abbreviation of spermaceti.

Definition of sperm whale in:

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