baleen

[buh-leen]
noun
whalebone ( def 1 ).

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English balene (< Anglo-French baleine, beleine) < Latin bal(l)ēna, variant of bal(l)aena whale < an unidentified language, also the source of Greek phál(l)aina whale; replacing Middle English balayn < Middle French balaine whale(bone) < Latin, as above

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World English Dictionary
baleen (bəˈliːn)
 
n
whalebone
 
[C14: from Latin bālaena whale; related to Greek phalaina whale]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

baleen
early 14c., "whalebone," from O.Fr. balaine (12c.) "whale, whalebone," from L. ballaena, from Gk. phallaina "whale" (apparently related to phallos "swollen penis," probably because of a whale's shape), from PIE base *bhel- (2) "to swell" (see bole). Klein writes that the Greek
to Latin transition was "through the medium of the Illyrian language, a fact which explains the transition of Gk. -ph- into L. -b- (instead of -p-)."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
baleen   (bə-lēn')  Pronunciation Key 
A flexible horny substance hanging in fringed plates from the upper jaw of baleen whales. It is used to strain plankton from seawater when feeding. Also called whalebone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Blue whales are the largest baleen whale species--in fact they are the largest
  animal in the world.
Pulsing sounds made by technology used to monitor fish stocks may affect how
  baleen whales communicate, even at great distances.
Baleen whales: rorquals, grey whales, right whales and their relatives.
Explain that humpbacks are baleen whales, which means they don't have teeth.
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