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[hweyl-bohn, weyl-] /ˈʰweɪlˌboʊn, ˈweɪl-/
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
1175-1225; whale1 + bone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for whalebone
  • No longer made from whalebone and sealskin, kayaks have gone high tech.
  • The half-breed obeyed at once, his knees trembling as if they had been made of whalebone.
  • Corsets and hoop skirts were constructed from whalebone.
  • It was netting hundreds of anchovies in its huge whalebone jaw-filters.
  • Nobody makes rugs or fine cabinetwork, or carves ladles out of whalebone.
  • The walls were made from flagstone rock and the roofs were skins laid on wooden or whalebone rafters.
  • See one of the nation's last remaining whalebone sidewalks.
  • See one of the nation's last remaining whalebone sidewalk.
  • The place was busy processing oil and whalebone and outfitting ships.
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
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