There are 2 main definitions of whale in English:

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whale 1

Syllabification: whale
Pronunciation: /(h)wāl/

noun (plural same or whales)

Image of whale
A very large marine mammal with a streamlined hairless body, a horizontal tail fin, and a blowhole on top of the head for breathing.
Example sentences
  • Marine mammals include narwhals, beluga whales, walrus, and ringed and bearded seals.
  • Come face to face with polar bears, walruses, harbour seals and beluga whales.
  • Sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, porpoise and whales are common around the islands.


a whale of a ——
informal An exceedingly good example of a particular thing: you’ve been doing a whale of a job
have a whale of a time
Enjoy oneself very much.
Example sentences
  • Members of a local activity group had a whale of a time when they enjoyed their first scuba diving experience.
  • Principal of St. Joseph's, Vincent Kelly, is delighted with the dedication and willingness of the children, saying ‘they've done very well and they are having a whale of a time.’
  • By the end of the session she had all the teachers, old and young, jumping and yelling, twirling and growling in unison, having a whale of a time.


Old English hwæl, of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with whale

ail, ale, assail, avail, bail, bale, bewail, brail, Braille, chain mail, countervail, curtail, dale, downscale, drail, dwale, entail, exhale, fail, faille, flail, frail, Gael, Gail, gale, Grail, grisaille, hail, hale, impale, jail, kale, mail, male, webmail, nonpareil, outsail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sail, sale, sangrail, scale, shale, snail, stale, swale, tail, tale, they'll, trail, upscale, vail, vale, veil, surveil, wail, wale, Yale
Definition of whale in:
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There are 2 main definitions of whale in English:

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whale 2 Syllabification: whale
Pronunciation: /(h)wāl/


[with object] informal, chiefly North American
Beat; hit: Dad came upstairs and whaled me [no object]: they whaled at the water with their paddles
More example sentences
  • With that being said, I whaled the hilt off of her skull, and she fell practically lifeless.
  • He really whaled her, screaming and yelling and carrying on like a demented guy.
  • I wondered why I should get whaled so, while Nerida, who was older, got off with a You-mustn't-do-that, darling.


Late 18th century: variant of wale.

Definition of whale in:
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