baleen

[ buh-leen ]
/ bəˈlin /

noun

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; whalebone.

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Origin of baleen

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English balene (from Anglo-French baleine, beleine, ) from Latin bal(l)ēna, variant of bal(l)aena “whale,” from an unidentified language, also the source of Greek phál(l)aina “whale”; replacing Middle English balayn, Middle French balaine “whale(bone),” from Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for baleen

British Dictionary definitions for baleen

baleen
/ (bəˈliːn) /

noun

whalebone

Word Origin for baleen

C14: from Latin bālaena whale; related to Greek phalaina 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

Scientific definitions for baleen

baleen
[ bə-lēn ]

A flexible horny substance hanging in fringed plates from the upper jaw of baleen whales. It is used to strain plankton from seawater when feeding. Also called whalebone
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.