noun, plural (especially collectively) por·poise, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) por·pois·es.
verb (used without object), por·poised, por·pois·ing.
Origin of porpoise
Examples from the Web for porpoise
A thick layer of mud covers their bodies, which are nearly always smeared with seal or porpoise oil.The Human Race|Louis Figuier
There was a hissing sound as the sea water rushed in, and the Porpoise gave a sudden lurch.Under the Ocean to the South Pole|Roy Rockwood
He might as well have tried to get early speed out of a porpoise.Old Man Curry|Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
He was very anxious to be away again, and urged on Porpoise to do his utmost to expedite the refitting of the yacht.The Cruise of the Frolic|W.H.G. Kingston
Then the mast snapped, water rushed in, and soon the Porpoise was a hopeless wreck.A Book of Discovery|Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge
British Dictionary definitions for porpoise
noun plural -poises or -poise
Word Origin for porpoise
Word Origin and History for porpoise
The Old French word probably is a loan-translation of a Germanic word meaning literally "sea-hog, mere-swine;" cf. Old Norse mar-svin, Old High German meri-swin, Middle Dutch mereswijn "porpoise" (the last of which also was borrowed directly into French and became Modern French marsouin).
Classical Latin had a similar name, porculus marinus (in Pliny), and the notion behind the name likely is a fancied resemblance of the snout to that of a pig.