Origin of cetaceanfrom Modern Latin from Classical Latin cetus, large sea animal, whale from Classical Greek k?tos + -ace(a) + -an
in some systems of classification, any of an order (Cetacea) of nearly hairless, fishlike water mammals lacking external hind limbs but having paddlelike forelimbs, including whales, porpoises, and dolphins
of the cetaceans
Any of various marine mammals of the order Cetacea, including the whales, dolphins, and porpoises, having the general shape of a fish with forelimbs modified to form flippers, a tail with horizontal flukes, and one or two blowholes for breathing.
Origin of cetaceanFrom New Latin Cētācea order name from Latin cētus whale ; see Cetus .
- ce·ta′cean ce·ta′ceous
Any of various, often very large aquatic mammals of the order Cetacea, having a hairless body that resembles that of a fish. Cetaceans have an elongated skull, a flat, horizontal tail, forelimbs modified into broad flippers, and no hind limbs. They breathe through blowholes located usually at the top of the skull. Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are cetaceans.
See more at baleen whale
(comparative more cetacean, superlative most cetacean)
- Pertaining to the zoologic order Cetacea, or associated with species falling under that taxonomic hierarchy.
- The poached blubber was definitely cetacean in origin, but the particular species could not be identified.
- More generally, relating to large aquatic mammals, either directly or by analogy.
- The obese woman, ungainly on land, moved with a kind of cetacean grace in the water.
- Smaller members of the cetacean order, none exceeding io ft.
- NARWHAL, the Scandinavian name of a cetacean (Monodon inonoceros), characterized by the presence in the male of a long horn-like tusk.
- It is the commonest cetacean in the seas round the British Isles, and not infrequently ascends the Thames, having been seen as high as Richmond; it has also been observed in the Seine at Neuilly, near Paris.
- Thick, containing rolled fossil bones, cetacean and fish teeth, and shells of the Crag period, with nodules or pebbles of phosphatic matter derived from the London Clay, and often investing fossils from that formation.
- BELUGA (Delphinapterus leucas), also called the "white whale," a cetacean of the family Delphinidae, characterized by its rounded head and uniformly light colour.