[hweyl-bak, weyl-]


  1. a cargo vessel having a hull with a convex deck.
  2. a deck or cover curving upward.
something shaped like the back of a whale, as a rounded hill or an ocean wave.

Origin of whaleback

First recorded in 1885–90; whale1 + back1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whaleback

Historical Examples of whaleback

  • He was a famous 'whaleback'--I think that's what they call it--on the Yale football team.

    Out of the Ashes

    Ethel Watts Mumford

  • He went by the Suburban, because he wanted to go over to the avenues, and Cowles went down by the Whaleback.'

    Against Odds

    Lawrence L. Lynch

  • In the centre it rose to probably six feet and then fell very gradually, whaleback fashion, to the south.

    Over Prairie Trails

    Frederick Philip Grove

  • I can't make out what they are on; but it looks like a whaleback to me, with her upper works carried away.

    Across India

    Oliver Optic

  • The whaleback is the business part of the city, although the shopping district has now a tendency to spread more eastward.

British Dictionary definitions for whaleback



something shaped like the back of a whale
a steamboat having a curved upper deck
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