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beluga

[buh-loo-guh] /bəˈlu gə/
noun
1.
Also called hausen. a white sturgeon, Huso huso, of the Black and Caspian seas, valued as a source of caviar and isinglass.
2.
Also called sea canary, white whale. a cetacean, Delphinapterus leucas, of northern seas, that has a rounded head and is white when adult.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < Russian belúga (now regularly belúkha for the cetacean), equivalent to bél() white + -uga, probably earlier *-ǫga (compare Czech pstruh, Polish pstrąg trout < *pĭstr- mottled + *-ǫgŭ a cognate suffix)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for beluga
  • She is still at it with the polar bears and now the beluga whale.
  • The icy waters around the island are home to seals, walruses, beluga and bowhead whales and spiral-tusked narwhals.
  • Participate in a live animal encounter to interact with a dolphin or beluga whale.
  • Watch beluga whales, and walk through tunnels as whale sharks swim above your head.
  • Shows featuring beluga and killer whales, dolphins and porpoises are scheduled throughout the day.
  • The beluga, or white whale, is one of the smallest species of whale.
  • Although belugas are also known as white whales, beluga calves are born gray or brown.
British Dictionary definitions for beluga

beluga

/bɪˈluːɡə/
noun
1.
a large white sturgeon, Acipenser (or Huso) huso, of the Black and Caspian Seas: a source of caviar and isinglass
2.
another name for white whale
Word Origin
C18: from Russian byeluga, from byely white
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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Word Origin and History for beluga
n.

1590s, from Russian beluga, literally "great white," from belo- "white" (from PIE *bhel-o-, from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn;" see bleach (v.)) + augmentative suffix -uga. Originally the great sturgeon, found in the Caspian and Black seas; later (1817) also the small white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) found in northern seas.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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