American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An Arctic whale (Monodon monoceros) that has a spotted pelt and is characterized in the male by a long spirally twisted ivory tusk projecting from the left side of its head.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cetacean, Monodon monoceros, of the family Delphinidræ and the subfamily Delphinapterinæ; the sea-unicorn, unicorn-whale, or unicorn-fish. One of the teeth of the male is enormously developed into a straight spirally fluted tusk from 6 to 10 feet long. This tusk is sometimes almost as long as the rest of the creature, and furnishes a valuable ivory. The narwhal also yields a superior quality of oil. It inhabits arctic seas. See also cut under
- n. An Arctic cetacean, about 20 feet (6 meters) long; the male has a single twisted pointed canine tooth or tusk projecting forward like a horn.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) An arctic cetacean (Monodon monocerous), about twenty feet long. The male usually has one long, twisted, pointed canine tooth, or tusk, projecting forward from the upper jaw like a horn, whence it is called also
sea unicorn, unicorn fish, and unicorn whale. Sometimes two horns are developed, side by side.
- n. small Arctic whale the male having a long spiral ivory tusk
- From Dutch narwal or Danish narhval, from Old Norse náhvalr, from nár ("corpse") + hvalr ("whale"). Compare Icelandic náhvalur. (Wiktionary)
- Norwegian or Danish narhval, from Old Norse nāhvalr : nār, corpse (from its whitish color) + hvalr, whale. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Sea, have huge teeth in their lower jaws, and in the upper only holes into which those teeth fit; others like the bottle-nose, only two teeth or so in the lower jaw; and others, like the narwhal, two straight tusks in the upper jaw, only one of which grows, and is what you call a narwhal's horn.”
“The word narwhal came from Norweigan and meant corpse whale.”
“At Upper Navik they do the same with the narwhal, which is thought more heat-making than the seal; while the bear, to use their own expression, is 'stronger travel than all.”
“The narwhal is a small species of whale, being about twenty feet long, and spotted something like an iron-gray horse.”
“③ Monodon monoceros: The narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic.”
“Squid, along with octopus and bobtail squid (Rossia spp.), play an important role as prey in Arctic waters for species such as narwhal, beluga, seals, cod and Greenland halibut.”
“Horns from several different animals, including the narwhal, have been shown around the courts of Europe as proof of the existence of the animal that no one living ever seems have seen with their own eyes.”
“So for instance, I picked the “N” page on which Featherbottom visits the North Pole instead of the one where he goes to Naples or New Orleans because the North Pole is where Santa lives, and also, the illustration on the North Pole page showed an awesome narwhal with a giant cone on its head that I knew Austin would think was pretty boss.”
“Sheattie confirmed that the moment when a narwhal is preparing to dive—when it lunges out of the water one final time after several shorter arches—is not only the ideal moment to shoot a picture, but also for hunters to aim for its brain.”
“I got to try narwhal skin known as "muktuk", which tasted like cod but had the consistency of rubber tire.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘narwhal’.
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