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walrus

[wawl-ruh s, wol-] /ˈwɔl rəs, ˈwɒl-/
noun, plural walruses (especially collectively) walrus.
1.
a large marine mammal, Odobenus nosmarus, of arctic seas, related to the seals, and having flippers, a pair of large tusks, and a tough, wrinkled skin.
Origin of walrus
1645-1655
1645-55; < Dutch: literally, whale horse; cognate with German Walross, Danish hvalros; compare Old English horshwæl horse-whale
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for walrus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An', well—I hates t' say it, but—well, they called her 'walrus Liz.'

  • Reindeer, seal, and walrus bones were seen in great quantities.

  • Like the kayaks, it was covered with seal-skin; or perhaps it might have been the hide of the walrus.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • The shoulder blade of a walrus fastened to a ski served as spade.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin
  • A walrus spouts much like a whale, but the walrus is not a fish, because he is amphibious.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville
  • They was ashore nigh on a week, and us standing off and on in the old walrus.

    Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Then I like the Carpenter best—if he didn't eat so many as the walrus.

    Peking Dust Ellen N. La Motte
  • Five walrus were snorting and barking in a hole which they had broken in the ice.

    Fast in the Ice R.M. Ballantyne
  • He understood the habits of the walrus, and knew that they would rise again.

    Fast in the Ice R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for walrus

walrus

/ˈwɔːlrəs; ˈwɒl-/
noun (pl) -ruses, -rus
1.
a pinniped mammal, Odobenus rosmarus, of northern seas, having a tough thick skin, upper canine teeth enlarged as tusks, and coarse whiskers and feeding mainly on shellfish: family Odobenidae
Word Origin
C17: probably from Dutch, from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse hrosshvalr (literally: horse whale) and Old English horschwæl; see horse, whale
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 walrus
n.

1650s, from Dutch walrus, which was probably a folk-etymology alteration (by influence of Dutch walvis "whale" and ros "horse") of a Scandinavian word, such as Old Norse rosmhvalr "walrus," hrosshvalr "a kind of whale," or rostungr "walrus." Old English had horschwæl, and later morse, from Lapp morsa or Finnish mursu, which ultimately might be the source, much garbled, of the first element in Old Norse rosmhvalr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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