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

  • n. See sperm whale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sperm whale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). It has in the top of its head a large cavity, containing an oily fluid, which, after death, concretes into a whitish crystalline substance called spermaceti. See sperm whale.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name of the sperm-whale, Physeter or Catodon macrocephalus, a large, toothed cetacean of the family Physeteridæ or Catodontiæ, having teeth in the lower jaw, and an enormous blunt head, in a cavity of which spermaceti is contained, and sometimes attaining a length Of 80 feet.
  • n. plural The sperm-whales as a family of cetaceans; the Physeteridæ.

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

  • n. large whale with a large cavity in the head containing spermaceti and oil; also a source of ambergris


French, from Spanish or Portuguese cachalote, augmentative of cachola, big head.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French cachalot. (Wiktionary)



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  • An unhappy sperm can trash a yacht;
    Those fierce white teeth can gnash a lot.
    Recall Ahab's leg,
    That cold wooden peg
    He got for offending a cachalot.

    August 30, 2015