[hweyl-bohn, weyl-]


an elastic, horny substance growing in place of teeth in the upper jaw of certain whales, and forming a series of thin, parallel plates on each side of the palate; baleen.
a thin strip of this substance, for stiffening a corset.

Origin of whalebone

First recorded in 1175–1225; whale1 + bone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whalebone

Contemporary Examples of whalebone

Historical Examples of whalebone

  • In the south, too, hoop iron or whalebone is used for runner shoeing.

  • A touch of the whalebone and she would balk—stop dead in her stride.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • From it we get the whalebone, oil and also a fertilizer to help our farm crops to grow.

    Where We Live

    Emilie Van Beil Jacobs

  • Name's Mervin; all whipcord and whalebone; springy as a bent bow.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • The quality of the whalebone also differs in the different species.

British Dictionary definitions for whalebone



Also called: baleen a horny elastic material forming a series of numerous thin plates that hang from the upper jaw on either side of the palate in the toothless (whalebone) whales and strain plankton from water entering the mouth
a thin strip of this substance, used in stiffening corsets, bodices, etc
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