American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several eared seals of the genera Callorhinus or Arctocephalus, having thick, soft underfur that is valued commercially for use in making garments.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A seal with copious under-fur of commercial value: distinguished from hair-seal. The fur-seals all belong to the eared-seal family or Otariidæ, being those which constitute the subfamily Ulophocinæ. The best-known fur-seals, and those from which is derived the fur usually made into sealskin garments, are the northern sea-bears, Callorhinus ursinus, abounding on the Pribyloff islands in Bering sea, where they gather by millions in the breeding season, but whence only about 100,000 skins are allowed to be taken annually by authorized persons.
- n. A marine mammal of either of the genera Arctocephalus or Callorhinus of the eared seal family Otariidae. They differ from the true seals by having small, visible ears and the ability to walk on land.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Zoöl.) one of several species of seals of the genera Callorhinus and Arclocephalus, inhabiting the North Pacific and the Antarctic oceans. They have a coat of fine and soft fur which is highly prized. The northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) breeds in vast numbers on the Prybilov Islands, off the coast of Alaska; -- called also
- n. an eared seal of the northern Pacific
- n. eared seal of the southern hemisphere; the thick soft underfur is the source of sealskin
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