Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[gram-puh s] /ˈgræm pəs/
noun, plural grampuses.
a cetacean, Grampus griseus, of the dolphin family, widely distributed in northern seas.
any of various related cetaceans, as the killer whale, Orcinus (Orca) orca.
a giant whip scorpion common to Florida.
Origin of grampus
1520-30; earlier grampoys, variant (by assimilation) of graundepose great fish, equivalent to graunde grand + pose, poys < Middle French pois, peis < Latin pisce- (stem of piscis) fish; replacing Middle English gra(s)peis < Middle FrenchLatin crassus piscis fat fish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for grampus
Historical Examples
  • grampus began to consider Simpson an excellent fellow—that is, as one to meet at luncheon, not as a son-in-law.

    The Wolf's Long Howl Stanley Waterloo
  • From what I have seen of him at a distance, I should say that he was about the bigness of a grampus.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville
  • I had come to the same conclusion that grampus had; but I wished to confirm my own opinion by his.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • I was more sorry at the thought of losing grampus than of anything else.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • Towards evening grampus came up to me with a look of concern in his countenance.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • She had scarcely gone, when Mr. grampus entered from his dinner-party.

  • Marmoset was fonder of riding than walking, so that grampus had enough to do; but he did not put himself much about.

    Martin Rattler R.M. Ballantyne
  • He founds on the enormous comparative size of brain in the grampus!

  • At that point the explosions of an engine getting to work echoed sharply through the steel hull of the grampus.

  • Not that Simpson lacked social equality with the grampus family.

    The Wolf's Long Howl Stanley Waterloo
British Dictionary definitions for grampus


noun (pl) -puses
a widely distributed slaty-grey dolphin, Grampus griseus, with a blunt snout
another name for killer whale
Word Origin
C16: from Old French graspois, from gras fat (from Latin crassus) + pois fish (from Latin piscis)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for grampus

1590s, earlier graundepose (1520s), altered (by influence of grand) from Middle English graspeys (late 13c.), from Anglo-French grampais, from Old French graspois, craspois "whale, (salted) whale meat; blubber; seal," from Medieval Latin craspicis, literally "fat fish," from Latin crassus "thick" + piscis "fish." For specifics of usage in English, see OED.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for grampus

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for grampus

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for grampus