Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An opening or one of a pair of openings for breathing, located on the top of the head of cetaceans, such as whales and dolphins. The blowhole is opened by muscles upon surfacing and closed by the pressure of water upon diving.
  • noun A hole in ice to which aquatic mammals, such as dolphins, come to breathe.
  • noun A vent to permit the escape of air or other gas.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An orifice on a rocky coast connected with a passage which gives access to the waves. When a heavy roller dashes into the latter it spouts from the blow-hole.
  • noun The nostril of a cetacean, generally situated on the highest part of the head.
  • noun A hole in the ice to which whales and seals come to breathe.
  • noun Same as air-hole, 2.
  • noun In steel-manuf., a defect in the iron or steel, caused by the escape of air or gas while solidification was taking place.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A cavern in a cliff, at the water level, opening to the air at its farther extremity, so that the waters rush in with each surge and rise in a lofty jet from the extremity.
  • noun A nostril or spiracle in the top of the head of a whale or other cetacean.
  • noun A hole in the ice to which whales, seals, etc., come to breathe.
  • noun (Founding) An air hole in a casting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The spiracle, on the top of the head, through which cetaceans breath.
  • noun A vent for the escape of gas.
  • noun A top-facing opening to a cavity in the ground very near an ocean's shore, that leads to a marine cave from which wave water and/or bursts of air are expelled.
  • noun An unintended cavity filled with air in a casting product.
  • noun A vertical opening in the top of computer cases, that let hot air, primarily from the CPU heat sink, escape quickly.

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

  • noun the spiracle of a cetacean located far back on the skull
  • noun a hole for the escape of gas or air

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Since the view of the famous blowhole is not wheelchair accessible, Jo sat in the van at a spot perched dangerously close to a cliff where the ocean beat against rocks thousands of feet below.

    The Road To El Dorado

  • Since the view of the famous blowhole is not wheelchair accessible, Jo sat in the van at a spot perched dangerously close to a cliff where the ocean beat against rocks thousands of feet below.

    The Road To El Dorado

  • This blowhole is supposed to be the world’s largest.

    The Road To El Dorado

  • This blowhole is supposed to be the world’s largest.

    The Road To El Dorado

  • In quiet weather the blowhole is a deep well; in storm it plays a fountain as the waves drive through the long tunnel below and spout their spray high in air in successive jets.

    The Elements of Geology

  • The blowhole, which is featured in several travel websites, was created by pounding surf that undercut and wore away a lava shelf.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • The blowhole, which is featured in several travel websites, was created by pounding surf that undercut and wore away a lava shelf.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • The blowhole, which is featured in several travel websites, was created by pounding surf that undercut and wore away a lava shelf.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • The blowhole, which is featured in several travel websites, was created by pounding surf that undercut and wore away a lava shelf.

    News - chicagotribune.com

  • You have to navigate through a public road (with parked cars sitting next to the fairway) and pedestrians entirely oblivious to the hazards of walking on the right side of a fairway, an ever-growing "blowhole" to the left that will swallow balls into the sea below, the 16th green left of the fairway and the cliffs even farther left but still in play.

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Comments

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  • Used frequently as an insult by the distinguished linguist Little Pete.

    January 10, 2007