Dolphin definition

dŏlfĭn, dôl-
Frequency:
The definition of a dolphin is a smart, sociable, friendly whale with a fin on its back.

An example of a dolphin is a friendly whale that lives in the oceans or at aquariums.

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A carnivorous aquatic mammal inhabiting mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, famed for its intelligence and occasional willingness to approach humans.
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(nautical) A man-made semi submerged maritime structure, usually installed to provide a fixed structure for temporary mooring, to prevent ships from drifting to shallow water or to serve as base for navigational aids.
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Any of two widespread families (Platanistidae and Delphinidae) of toothed whales having high levels of intelligence and usually a beaklike snout.
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(naut.) A buoy, pile, or, esp., a cluster of piles for mooring a vessel.
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A fish, the mahi-mahi or dorado, Coryphaena hippurus, with a dorsal fin that runs the length of the body, also known for iridescent coloration.
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Any of various marine toothed whales of the family Delphinidae, having a beaklike snout, a curved dorsal fin, and a slender streamlined body.
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Any of several toothed whales inhabiting rivers and estuaries in South America and South Asia, having a long narrow beak, broad flippers, a flexible neck, and usually a reduced dorsal fin. A species native to the Yangtze River is thought to be extinct.
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A buoy, pile, or group of piles used for mooring boats.
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A group of piers used as a fender at a dock.
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The dauphin, eldest son of the kings of France.
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(historical) A mass of iron or lead hung from the yardarm, in readiness to be dropped through the deck and the hull of an enemy's vessel to sink it.
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(nautical) A kind of wreath or strap of plaited cordage.
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(nautical) A spar or buoy held by an anchor and furnished with a ring to which ships may fasten their cables.

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A mooring post on a wharf or beach.
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Any of a percoid family (Coryphaenidae) of marine game fishes with colors that brighten and change when the fish is taken out of the water.
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A permanent fender around a heavy boat just below the gunwale.

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the Dolphin
  • the constellation Delphinus
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
dolphin
Plural:
dolphins

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

the Dolphin

Origin of dolphin

  • Middle English from Old French daulfin blend of daufin Old Provençal dalfin both from Medieval Latin dalfinus from Latin delphīnus from Greek delphīs delphīn- from delphus womb (from its shape)

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

  • Middle English dolfin, from Old French daulphin, dalphin, daufin, from Latin delphīnus, from Ancient Greek δελφίς (delphis), from δελφύς (delphus) "womb".

    From Wiktionary

  • From 3rd Duke of Alba (duc d'Albe in French), who was the first to let build this type of structures in the Spanish Netherlands in the 16th century.

    From Wiktionary