[ si-tey-shuh n ]
/ sɪˈteɪ ʃən /


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


a cetacean mammal.

Words nearby cetacean

Origin of cetacean

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


ce·ta·ceous, adjective
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Examples from the Web for cetacean

British Dictionary definitions for cetacean

/ (sɪˈteɪʃən) /

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)


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

Scientific definitions for 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.