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dolphin

[dol-fin, dawl-]
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noun
  1. any of several chiefly marine, cetacean mammals of the family Delphinidae, having a fishlike body, numerous teeth, and the front of the head elongated into a beaklike projection.
  2. Also called dolphinfish, mahimahi, pompano dolphin. either of two large, slender fishes, Coryphaena hippurus or C. equisetis, of warm and temperate seas.
  3. Nautical.
    1. a pile, cluster of piles, or buoy to which a vessel may be moored in open water.
    2. a cluster of piles used as a fender, as at the entrance to a dock.
    3. a pudding fender at the nose of a tugboat or on the side of a vessel.
  4. (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Delphinus.
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Origin of dolphin

1300–50; Middle English dolphyn < Old French daulphin < Old Provençal dalfin < Vulgar Latin *dalfīnus, Latin delphīnus < Greek delphī́n
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dolphin

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • My first sight of a dolphin near at hand was one to remember.

  • The appearance of the dolphin when just out of the water beggars description.

  • During supper the schooner approached the Dolphin, and lay alongside.

  • It was a lake of rainbow light, in which, for a short while, I lived like a dolphin.

  • The Dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the Monkey under the water and drowned him.


British Dictionary definitions for dolphin

dolphin

noun
  1. any of various marine cetacean mammals of the family Delphinidae, esp Delphinus delphis, that are typically smaller than whales and larger than porpoises and have a beaklike snout
  2. river dolphin any freshwater cetacean of the family Platanistidae, inhabiting rivers of North and South America and S Asia. They are smaller than marine dolphins and have a longer narrower snout
  3. Also called: dorado either of two large marine percoid fishes, Coryphaena hippurus or C. equisetis, that resemble the cetacean dolphins and have an iridescent coloration
  4. nautical a post or buoy for mooring a vessel
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French dauphin, via Latin, from Greek delphin-, delphis
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 dolphin

n.

mid-14c., from Old French daulphin, from Medieval Latin dolfinus, from Latin delphinus "dolphin," from Greek delphis (genitive delphinos) "dolphin," related to delphys "womb," perhaps via notion of the animal bearing live young, or from its shape, from PIE *gwelbh-. Popularly applied to the dorado from late 16c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper