a large, square-snouted whale, Physeter catodon, valued for its oil and spermaceti: now reduced in number and rare in some areas.
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Question 1 of 7
Origin of sperm whale
First recorded in 1825–35
Words nearby sperm whale
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for sperm whale
a large toothed whale, Physeter catodon, having a square-shaped head and hunted for sperm oil, spermaceti, and ambergris: family PhyseteridaeAlso called: cachalot
Word Origin for sperm whale
C19: short for spermaceti 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