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Word of the Day
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Definitions for porpoise

  1. to move forward with a rising and falling motion.
  2. (of a speeding motorboat) to leap clear of the water after striking a wave.
  3. (of a torpedo) to appear above the surface of the water.

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Citations for porpoise
Jake disengaged the autopilot—it had a tendency to porpoise the plane when the receiving aircraft pushed in the drogue—and devoted his attention to maintaining a smooth, steady course on the great circle. Stephen Coonts, Flight of the Intruder, 1986
We hit another wave and were thrown up again, and this time we began to porpoise. Tom Casey, Strangers' Gate, 2006
Origin of porpoise
Porpoise entered English in the fifteenth century from the Old French porc + peis literally meaning "pork fish." It is thought that this name was given to the marine animal because its snout resembled a pig snout.