Baleen meaning

bə-lēn
The horny, elastic plates that hang down in fringed, parallel columns from the upper jaw or palate of baleen whales and serve as a strainer that catches plankton while a whale is feeding; whalebone.
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A flexible horny substance hanging in fringed plates from the upper jaw of baleen whales. It is used to strain plankton from seawater when feeding.
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(physiology, uncountable) The plates in the mouth of the baleen whale, Mysticeti, which it uses to trap its food; formerly used in corsetry.
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(zoology, countable) A baleen whale.
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Origin of baleen

  • Middle English balene from Old French baleine from Latin balaena whale from Greek phallaina, phalaina bhel-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French baleine (“whale, whalebone”), from Latin balaena (“whale”), from Ancient Greek φάλαινα (phalaina, “whale”).

    From Wiktionary