odontocete

[oh-don-tuh-seet]

noun Zoology.

any whale of the suborder Odontoceti, as dolphins, killer whales, and sperm whales, characterized by an asymmetrical skull, a single blowhole, and rows of teeth, feeding primarily on fish, squid, and crustaceans.

Compare mysticete.

Origin of odontocete

1880–85; < New Latin Odontoceti, equivalent to odonto- odonto- + ceti, plural of cetus whale, Latin cētus < Greek kêtos
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019