from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The dugong.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as dugong.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The typical genus of the family Halicoridæ.
  • n. [lowercase] A species of Halicore; a dugong.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin, from Ancient Greek ἅλς (hals, "sea") + κόρη (kore, "girl, maiden").



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  • (n): the dugong, a marine mammal of the order Sirenia.

    The Sirenia include three species of manatees, the West Indian manatee, the Amazonian manatee, and the West African manatee; the dugongs include the extant dugong, and the extinct Stellar's sea cow.

    It is difficult to imagine that a manatee or dugong could be mistaken for the mermaids of legend and myth, but that is precisely what Sirenia, the order to which they belong is named after.

    One of the earliest non-scientific mentions of a sirenian was Kipling's short story "The White Seal" which takes place in the Bering Sea region. That species of halicore, the Stellar's Sea Cow, was exterminated by Russian hunters and explorers by 1768, almost a century before Kipling was born.

    January 1, 2009