Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various aquatic, chiefly marine mammals of the order Cetacea, including the whales, dolphins, and porpoises, characterized by a nearly hairless body, anterior limbs modified into broad flippers, vestigial posterior limbs, and a flat notched tail.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or belonging to the order Cetacea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to the zoologic order Cetacea, or associated with species falling under that taxonomic hierarchy.
  • adj. More generally, relating to large aquatic mammals, either directly or by analogy.
  • n. An animal belonging to the order Cetacea, including dolphins, porpoises, and whales.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the Cetacea.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to the whale, or to the Cetacea.
  • n. An animal of the order Cete; a whale, or one of the whale kind.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or relating to whales and dolphins etc
  • n. large aquatic carnivorous mammal with fin-like forelimbs no hind limbs, including: whales; dolphins; porpoises; narwhals

Etymologies

From New Latin Cētācea, order name, from Latin cētus, whale; see Cetus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
New Latin cetacea, from Latin cetus ("whale"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Thank you for the cetacean citation explanation.

    November 10, 2007

  • I'm unable to provide a cetacean citation.

    November 10, 2007