Porpoise Definition

pôrpəs
porpoises
noun
Any of a family (Phocoenidae) of small, usually gregarious toothed whales found in most seas, with a torpedo-shaped body and a blunt snout.
Webster's New World
A dolphin or any of several small whales.
Webster's New World
Synonyms:
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verb
(intransitive) Said of an aircraft: to make a series of plunges when taking off or landing.
Wiktionary
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Other Word Forms of Porpoise

Noun

Singular:
porpoise
Plural:
porpoises

Origin of Porpoise

  • From Middle English porpeys, purpeys, from Anglo-Norman porpeis, purpeis, Old French pourpois, pourpais, porpeis (“porpoise"), from Vulgar Latin *porcopiscis (“porpoise", literally “pig-fish"), from Latin porcus (“pig") + piscis (“fish"). Compare (in transposed order) obsolete Italian pesce porco and Portuguese peixe porco; also Latin porcus marinus (“sea hog"), akin in formation to German Meerschwein, English mereswine. More at mereswine.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English porpeis from Old French (probably translation of a Germanic compound meaning sea-pig) porc pig (from Latin porcus porko- in Indo-European roots) peis fish (from Latin piscis)

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

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