Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[hweyl-bohn, weyl-] /ˈʰweɪlˌboʊn, ˈweɪl-/
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
First recorded in 1175-1225; whale1 + bone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for whalebone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then Egil examined the bed, and found a piece of whalebone with runes on it.

  • Lestiboudois went about the church with his whalebone stick.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • whalebone purfling has been frequently used, particularly by the old Amsterdam makers.

    The Violin George Hart
  • So I made her a tail of whalebone and India-rubber and yarn.

    A British Islander Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • Then into the hollow goes the whalebone, so, tightly coiled, and another piece of blubber is fitted over the whale-bone.

    Love of Life Jack London
  • The purfling is of whalebone, like that of most of the Dutch makers.

    The Violin George Hart
  • By a violent twist of every whalebone muscle, Tam whirled himself sidewise.

    Buff: A Collie and other dog-stories Albert Payson Terhune
  • Then came the fins, and after them the upper jaw, with the whalebone attached to it.

    Fighting the Whales R. M. Ballantyne
  • It is for this and the whalebone that this animal is deemed so valuable, and for which it is so much sought by whalefishers.

British Dictionary definitions for whalebone


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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for whalebone

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for whalebone

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for whalebone