American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several whales of the family Balaenidae, characterized by a large head, whalebone plates in the mouth, and absence of a dorsal fin.
- n. The baleen whales belonging to the family Balaenidae, in the genera Eubalaena (three species) and Balaena (one species, the bowhead whale, also called the Greenland right whale).
GNU Webster's 1913
- The bowhead, Arctic, or Greenland whale (Balæna mysticetus), from whose mouth the best whalebone is obtained.
- Any other whale that produces valuable whalebone, as the Atlantic, or Biscay, right whale (Balæna cisarctica), and the Pacific right whale (Balæna Sieboldii); a bone whale.
- n. large Arctic whalebone whale; allegedly the `right' whale to hunt because of its valuable whalebone and oil
- From the opinion of whalers that balaenid whales were the "right" (i.e. correct) whales to target because their carcases were easier to collect. (Wiktionary)
- Because it was the "right” whale to kill. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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