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whalebone

[hweyl-bohn, weyl-] /ˈʰweɪlˌboʊn, ˈweɪl-/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a thin strip of this substance, for stiffening a corset.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; whale1 + bone
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

whalebone

/ˈweɪlˌbəʊn/
noun
1.
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
2.
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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Encyclopedia Article for whalebone

baleen

series of stiff keratinous plates in the mouths of baleen whales, used to strain plankton from seawater. Whalebone was once important in the production of corsets, brushes, and other goods

Learn more about baleen with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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17
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