Definitions

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

  • noun The elastic, horny material forming the fringed plates that hang from the upper jaw of baleen whales and strain plankton from the water.
  • noun An object made of this material.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The elastic horny substance which grows in place of teeth in the upper jaw of whales of the family Balænidæ (hence called whalebone or bone whales), forming a series of thin parallel plates from a few inches to several feet long; baleen (which see).
  • noun Something made of whalebone or baleen; a piece of whalebone prepared for some regular use: as, the whalebones of a corset.
  • noun Specifically
  • noun In the middle ages, ivory from the narwhal, walrus, or other sea-creature, or supposed to be from such a source. See whale's bone, under whale, n.
  • Made of or containing whalebone.

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

  • noun A firm, elastic substance resembling horn, taken from the upper jaw of the right whale; baleen. It is used as a stiffening in stays, fans, screens, and for various other purposes. See baleen.

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

  • noun The horny material from the fringed plates of the upper jaw of baleen whales that are used to filter plankton; once used as stays in corsets

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

  • noun a horny material from the upper jaws of certain whales; used as the ribs of fans or as stays in corsets

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The substance which we call whalebone is not true bone.

    Chatterbox, 1905.

  • It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as “whale oil,” an inferior article in commerce.

    Moby Dick; or the Whale

  • In the seam of one of the remaining divisions is inclosed a piece of whalebone, which is drawn over the head, and forms a perfect arch, leaving the head and neck bare.

    Miss Caprice

  • In place of teeth it has the well-known substance called whalebone, which grows from the roof of its mouth in a number of broad thin plates, extending from the back of the head to the snout.

    Fighting the Whales

  • In place of teeth it has the well-known substance called whalebone, which grows from the roof of its mouth in a number of broad thin plates, extending from the back of the head to the snout.

    Fighting the Whales

  • It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as "whale oil," an inferior article in commerce.

    Moby Dick, or, the whale

  • It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as "whale oil," an inferior article in commerce.

    Moby Dick: or, the White Whale

  • It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as 'whale oil', an inferior article in commerce.

    Moby-Dick, or, The Whale

  • "baleen" or "whalebone" -- each plank being as much as eight or in rare cases twelve feet long.

    More Science From an Easy Chair

  • The whalebone whale, again, has horny "whalebone" plates in its mouth, and no teeth; but the young foetal whale before it is born has teeth in its jaws; they, however, are never used, and they never come to anything.

    Darwiniana : Essays — Volume 02

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