cetacean

[si-tey-shuh n]

adjective

belonging to the Cetacea, an order of aquatic, chiefly marine mammals, including the whales and dolphins.

noun

a cetacean mammal.

Nearby words

  1. cet,
  2. cet-,
  3. cet. par.,
  4. ceta,
  5. cetacea,
  6. cetaceum,
  7. cetane,
  8. cetane number,
  9. cetatea albă,
  10. cete

Origin of cetacean

1830–40; < New Latin Cetace(a) name of the order (see cet-, -acea) + -an

Related formsce·ta·ceous, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cetacean


British Dictionary definitions for cetacean

cetacean

adjective Also: cetaceous

of, relating to, or belonging to the Cetacea, an order of aquatic placental mammals having no hind limbs and a blowhole for breathing: includes toothed whales (dolphins, porpoises, etc) and whalebone whales (rorquals, right whales, etc)

noun

a whale

Word Origin for cetacean

C19: from New Latin Cētācea, ultimately from Latin cētus whale, from Greek kētos

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 cetacean

cetacean

n.

1836, from Cetacea, name of the order of marine mammals, + -an. As an adjective from 1839.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for cetacean

cetacean

[sĭ-tāshən]

Any of various, often very large aquatic mammals of the order Cetacea, having a hairless body that resembles that of a fish. Cetaceans have an elongated skull, a flat, horizontal tail, forelimbs modified into broad flippers, and no hind limbs. They breathe through blowholes located usually at the top of the skull. Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are cetaceans. See more at baleen whale toothed whale.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.