right whaleright whale
any of a family (Balaenidae) of large-headed baleen whales lacking a dorsal fin and longitudinal wrinkles on the throat and chest
Origin of right whalereason for name uncertain
Any of several large baleen whales of the family Balaenidae, characterized by a large head with an arched upper jaw and absence of a dorsal fin.
Origin of right whaleBecause it was the “right” whale to kill.
(plural right whales)
- The baleen whales belonging to the family Balaenidae, in the genera Eubalaena (three species) and Balaena (one species, the bowhead whale, also called the Greenland right whale).
From the opinion of whalers that balaenid whales were the "right" (i.e. correct) whales to target because their carcasses were easier to collect.