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2017 Word of the Year

whalebone

[hweyl-bohn, weyl-] /ˈʰweɪlˌboʊn, ˈweɪl-/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a thin strip of this substance, for stiffening a corset.
Origin of whalebone
1175-1225
First recorded in 1175-1225; whale1 + bone
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whalebone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the south, too, hoop iron or whalebone is used for runner shoeing.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • 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 Charles Darwin
  • whalebone is very fibrous or stringy, and it splits very readily.

  • But Miss Parker struck Nancy with a piece of whalebone, and hurt her a good deal.

    Little Prudy Sophie May
  • Lestiboudois went about the church with his whalebone stick.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • No tight lacing; no casing in whalebone—nothing like a hoop.

    The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau
British Dictionary definitions for whalebone

whalebone

/ˈweɪlˌbəʊn/
noun
1.
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
2.
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
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Word Value for whalebone

17
19
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