Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A seal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of seals. It includes the common harbor seal and allied species. See seal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A seal.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of Phocidæ or seals, formerly coextensive at least, with the family, now restricted to the section which is represented by the common harbor-seal, P. vitulina, and a few closely related species. See seal, and cut under harp-seal.

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

  • n. type genus of the Phocidae: earless seals

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin phoca, from Ancient Greek φώκη.

Examples

  • Then returning, half-smiling at his own pettishness, he said, ` ` Get thee into the house, Edie, and remember my counsel, never speak to me about a mine, nor to my nephew Hector about a phoca, that is

    The Antiquary

  • Hector about a phoca, that is a sealgh, as you call it.”

    The Antiquary

  • Next evening, as he was returning home by the strand, he spied a male and female phoca sprawling on a rock a few yards out at sea.

    The Seal Maiden

  • Yet why should not the solemn visaged, double-chinned phoca partake of one of the most universal habits of animal life -- the love of frolic?

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 13, No. 367, April 25, 1829

  • He was with difficulty appeased, but I saw he never forgot the dead horse, any more than the Antiquary's nephew the "phoca or seal."

    The Autobiography of Liuetenant-General Sir Harry Smith, Baronet of Aliwal on the Sutlej, G. C. B.

  • I may remind English readers that [Greek] (i.e. phoca) means "seal."

    The Odyssey

  • I saw him to-day engage in an animated contest with a phoca, or seal (sealgh, our people more properly call them, retaining the Gothic guttural gh), with as much vehemence as if he had fought against Dumourier

    The Antiquary

  • ` ` My uncle is the best man in the world, and in his way the kindest; but rather than hear any more about that cursed phoca, as he is pleased to call it, I would exchange for the

    The Antiquary

  • ` ` The devil take the seal, sir, or phoca, if you choose to call it so!

    The Antiquary

  • Nay, never start off at a jest, man --- I have done with the _phoca_ --- though, I dare say, the

    The Antiquary

Comments

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  • As the Thpanish thay, 'que foca!', for a lady with a tendency toward embonpoint.

    September 20, 2009

  • Then, with so swift an ebb the flood drove backward,

    It slipt from underneath the scaly herd:

    Here monstrous phocæ panted on the shore;

    - John Dryden, 'All for Love'.

    September 20, 2009