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blowhole

[bloh-hohl]
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noun
  1. an air or gas vent, especially one to carry off fumes from a tunnel, underground passage, etc.
  2. either of two nostrils or spiracles, or a single one, at the top of the head in whales and other cetaceans, through which they breathe.
  3. a hole in the ice to which whales or seals come to breathe.
  4. Metallurgy. a defect in a casting or ingot caused by the escape of gas.
  5. Geology. a hole in a sea cliff or coastal terrace through which columns of spray are jetted upward.
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Origin of blowhole

First recorded in 1685–95; blow2 + hole
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for blowhole

blowhole

noun
  1. the nostril, paired or single, of whales, situated far back on the skull
  2. a hole in ice through which whales, seals, etc, breathe
    1. a vent for air or gas, esp to release fumes from a tunnel, passage, etc
    2. NZa hole emitting gas or steam in a volcanic region
  3. a bubble-like defect in an ingot resulting from gas being trapped during solidification
  4. geology a hole in a cliff top leading to a sea cave through which air is forced by the action of the sea
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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

Word Origin and History for blowhole

n.

also blow-hole, 1787, of whales and porpoises, from blow (v.1) + hole.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper