- an elastic, horny substance growing in place of teeth in the upper jaw of certain whales, and forming a series of thin, parallel plates on each side of the palate; baleen.
- a thin strip of this substance, for stiffening a corset.
Origin of whalebone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for whalebone
The suffragettes got us the vote and they did it in whalebone corsets.What's Wrong With Skinny?
February 8, 2010
In the south, too, hoop iron or whalebone is used for runner shoeing.The Long Labrador Trail
A touch of the whalebone and she would balk—stop dead in her stride.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
From it we get the whalebone, oil and also a fertilizer to help our farm crops to grow.Where We Live
Emilie Van Beil Jacobs
Name's Mervin; all whipcord and whalebone; springy as a bent bow.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
The quality of the whalebone also differs in the different species.On the Origin of Species
- Also called: baleen a horny elastic material forming a series of numerous thin plates that hang from the upper jaw on either side of the palate in the toothless (whalebone) whales and strain plankton from water entering the mouth
- a thin strip of this substance, used in stiffening corsets, bodices, etc
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