• synonyms


[rawr-kwuh l]
See more synonyms for rorqual on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of several whales of the genus Balaenoptera; finback.
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Origin of rorqual

1820–30; < French < Norwegian rørkval, Old Norse reytharhvalr, equivalent to reyth(a)r rorqual (akin to rauthr red1) + hvalr whale1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for rorqual

Historical Examples

  • That of the extinct Halitherium recalls the pelvis of the Rorqual.

    The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia

    Frank Evers Beddard

  • What is temporary in the Rorqual appears to be permanent in the Sotalia.

  • Another visitor, the Rorqual, is not welcomed by the fishermen.

    Within the Deep

    R. Cadwallader Smith

  • It has, however, the general outline of a Rorqual, with a relatively small head.

  • Captain Scoresby indeed mentions a Rorqual no less than 120 feet in length, but this is probably too great an estimate.

    The Beauties of Nature

    Sir John Lubbock

British Dictionary definitions for rorqual


  1. any of several whalebone whales of the genus Balaenoptera, esp B. physalus : family Balaenopteridae . They have a dorsal fin and a series of grooves along the throat and chestAlso called: finback
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Word Origin

C19: from French, from Norwegian rörhval, from Old Norse reytharhvalr, from reythr (from rauthr red) + hvalr whale
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