Porpoise meaning

pôrpəs
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Any of various marine toothed whales of the genus Phocoena and related genera, characteristically having a blunt snout and a triangular dorsal fin. Porpoises are placed either in their own family, Phocoenidae, or with the dolphins in the family Delphinidae.
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Any of several related aquatic mammals, such as the dolphins.
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Any of a family (Phocoenidae) of small, usually gregarious toothed whales found in most seas, with a torpedo-shaped body and a blunt snout.
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A dolphin or any of several small whales.
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A small cetacean of the family Phocoenidae, related to whales and dolphins.
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(North America, imprecisely) Any small dolphin.
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(intransitive) Said of an aircraft: to make a series of plunges when taking off or landing.
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Origin of porpoise

  • 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

  • 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