- any of the larger marine mammals of the order Cetacea, especially as distinguished from the smaller dolphins and porpoises, having a fishlike body, forelimbs modified into flippers, and a head that is horizontally flattened.
- Informal. something big, great, or fine of its kind: I had a whale of a time in Europe.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Cetus.
- to engage in whaling or whale fishing.
Origin of whale1
- to hit, thrash, or beat soundly.
Origin of whale2
Related Words for whaledknock, pummel, chastise, buffet, smack, batter, pelt, trounce, punch, crush, thrash, bash, wallop, lash, flog, maul, whip, bat, slap, swat
Examples from the Web for whaled
Historical Examples of whaled
I whaled Dan good when he brought that piece back from school."Captains Courageous"
We've whaled all the chaff out of the old straw, but it doesn't do any good.The Lash
Olin L. Lyman
The Dutch also whaled with long ropes, as is now our method.Nooks and Corners of the New England Coast
Samuel Adams Drake
I could have whaled it to them all right now, but a shell jammed.Plain Mary Smith
Henry Wallace Phillips
Take your hat off to that chechacko who has just whaled you blind.The Yukon Trail
William MacLeod Raine
- any of the larger cetacean mammals, excluding dolphins, porpoises, and narwhals. They have flippers, a streamlined body, and a horizontally flattened tail and breathe through a blowhole on the top of the headRelated adjective: cetacean
- any cetacean mammalSee also toothed whale, whalebone whale
- slang a gambler who has the capacity to win and lose large sums of money in a casino
- a whale of a informal an exceptionally large, fine, etc, example of a (person or thing)we had a whale of a time on holiday
Word Origin for whale
- (tr) to beat or thrash soundly
Word Origin for whale
Word Origin and History for whaled
Old English hwæl, from Proto-Germanic *khwalaz (cf. Old Saxon hwal, Old Norse hvalr, hvalfiskr, Swedish val, Middle Dutch wal, walvisc, Dutch walvis, Old High German wal, German Wal); probably cognate with Latin squalus "a kind of large sea fish." Phrase whale of a "excellent or large example" is c.1900, student slang.
"beat, whip severely," 1790, possibly a variant of wale (v.).