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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for grampus
Historical Examples
  • They were soon aboard the grampus, where their coming was a surprise to the crew.

    Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay G. Harvey Ralphson
  • 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
  • If they could have brought it, I am sure that grampus would never have got any.

    The Mahatma and the Hare H. Rider Haggard
  • We must try and get the foresail hoisted, grampus,” said I. “If we can, we may do yet.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • I watched her anxiously, both on my own account and that of grampus and the men with him.

    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
  • 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
  • “This is no great misfortune,” said I to grampus when I came on deck.

    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
  • When I got there, I found him all doubled up with asthma, wheezing like a grampus.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
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
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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
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