Whale definition

wāl, hwāl
Whale is defined as to attack, hit very hard over and over again, or hunt whales.

An example of whale is viciously spreading rumors and causing scandal in a person's life.

An example of whale is a boxer punching their opponent again and again.

An example of whale is what the Japanese ships are doing on the television show Whale Wars.

verb
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(informal) An impressive example.

A whale of a story.

noun
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Any of various marine mammals of the order Cetacea; a cetacean.
noun
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Any of various larger members of this order, including the blue whale, humpback whale, and right whale, in contrast to the porpoises and dolphins.
noun
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Any of several species of large sea mammals of the order Cetacea.
noun
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(figuratively) Something, or someone, that is very large.
noun
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(gambling) (In a casino) A person who routinely bets at the maximum limit allowable.
noun
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(intransitive) To hunt for whales.
verb
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To flog, to beat.
verb
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To strike or hit repeatedly and forcefully; thrash.
verb
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To strike or hit a person or thing repeatedly and forcefully.

Whaled away at the plaster wall with a mallet.

verb
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To swing at a ball with great effort, especially repeatedly.
verb
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To attack vehemently.

The poet whaled away at the critics.

verb
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Any member of either of two orders (Mysticeta and Odontoceta) of aquatic mammals that breathe air, bear live young, and have front limbs that have been modified into flippers, and a flat, horizontal tail.
noun
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Any of the larger members of these two groups, excluding the porpoises and dolphins generally, but including the killer whale.
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To engage in the work of hunting whales.
verb
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(informal) To beat; whip; thrash.
verb
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To engage in the hunting of whales.
verb
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To strike or hit (a ball) with great force.
verb
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a whale of a
  • an exceptionally large, fine, etc. example of a (class of persons or things)
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
whale
Plural:
Whales

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

a whale of a

Origin of whale

  • Middle English from Old English hwæl

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

  • Origin unknown

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

  • From Middle English whale, from Old English hwæl, from Proto-Germanic *hwalaz (compare German Wal, Low German Waal, Danish hval; cf. also Dutch walvis, West Frisian walfisk, Low German Waalfisch), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kʷálos 'sheatfish' (compare German Wels, Latin squalus (“big sea fish"), Old Prussian kalis, Ancient Greek ἄσπαλος (áspalos), Avestan 𐬀𐬭𐬀𐬐 (kara, “kind of fish")).

    From Wiktionary