[ pawr-puh s ]
/ ˈpɔr pəs /
noun, plural (especially collectively) por·poise, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) por·pois·es.
any of several small, gregarious cetaceans of the genus Phocoena, usually blackish above and paler beneath, and having a blunt, rounded snout, especially the common porpoise, P. phocoena, of both the North Atlantic and Pacific.
any of several other small cetaceans, as the common dolphin, Delphinus delphis.
verb (used without object), por·poised, por·pois·ing.
(of a speeding motorboat) to leap clear of the water after striking a wave.
(of a torpedo) to appear above the surface of the water.
to move forward with a rising and falling motion in the manner of a porpoise: The car has a tendency to porpoise when overloaded.
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Origin of porpoise
1275–1325; Middle English porpoys < Middle French porpois < Vulgar Latin *porcopiscis hog fish, for Latin porcus marīnus sea hog
OTHER WORDS FROM porpoisepor·poise·like, adjective
Words nearby porpoise
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for porpoising
/ (ˈpɔːpəs) /
noun plural -poises or -poise
any of various small cetacean mammals of the genus Phocaena and related genera, having a blunt snout and many teeth: family Delphinidae (or Phocaenidae)
(not in technical use) any of various related cetaceans, esp the dolphin
Word Origin for porpoise
C14: from French pourpois, from Medieval Latin porcopiscus (from Latin porcus pig + piscis fish), replacing Latin porcus marīnus sea pig
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