from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun Any of various marine toothed whales of the genus Phocoena and related genera, characteristically having a blunt snout and a triangular dorsal fin. Porpoises are placed either in their own family, Phocoenidae, or with the dolphins in the family Delphinidae.
- noun Any of several related aquatic mammals, such as the dolphins.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A small toothed cetacean of the family Delphinidæ and subfamily Delphiminæ, and especially of the genus Phoeæna, of which there are several species, the best-known being P. communis, which attains a length of about 5 feet and has a blunt head not produced into a long beak, and a thick body tapering toward the tail.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Zoöl.) Any small cetacean of the genus Phocæna, especially
Phocæna communis, or Phocæna phocæna, of Europe, and the closely allied American species ( Phocæna Americana). The color is dusky or blackish above, paler beneath. They are closely allied to the dolphins, but have a shorter snout. Called also harbor porpoise, herring hag, puffing pig, and snuffer.
- noun (Zoöl.) A true dolphin (Delphinus); -- often so called by sailors.
- noun (Zoöl.) a North American porpoise (
Lagenorhynchus acutus), larger than the common species, and with broad stripes of white and yellow on the sides. See Illustrationin Appendix.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A small
cetaceanof the family Phocoenidae, related to whales and dolphins.
- noun North America, imprecisely Any small dolphin.
- verb intransitive Said of an aircraft: to make a series of plunges when taking off or landing.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun any of several small gregarious cetacean mammals having a blunt snout and many teeth
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Many people are of opinion that the porpoise is a variety of the dolphin.
A porpoise is a vertical oscillation where you are just a step behind the aircraft and can't physically keep up with the machine; each control movement only serves to exaggerate the problem.
"This," exclaimed he, "if I mistake not, augurs well; the porpoise is a fat, well-conditioned fish, a burgomaster among fishes; his looks betoken ease, plenty, and prosperity; I greatly admire this round fat fish, and doubt not but this is a happy omen of the success of our undertaking."
The porpoise is a fish five or six feet in length, weighing from one hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds.
The porpoise is the true dolphin, the sailor's dolphin being a fish with vertical tail, scales and gills.
What Nairne calls a porpoise, is really the beluga, a small white whale.
The dolphin is so uniformly miscalled porpoise, on the west coast and everywhere else, that the creature will soon come to think that it really is a porpoise.
So-called porpoise leather is made of the skin of the white whale.
Well, anyway, it's a porpoise, and a porpoise is a kind of shark, isn't it?
The porpoise is the kitten of the sea; he never has a serious thought, he cares for nothing but fun and play.