an air or gas vent, especially one to carry off fumes from a tunnel, underground passage, etc.
either of two nostrils or spiracles, or a single one, at the top of the head in whales and other cetaceans, through which they breathe.
a hole in the ice to which whales or seals come to breathe.
Metallurgy. a defect in a casting or ingot caused by the escape of gas.
Geology. a hole in a sea cliff or coastal terrace through which columns of spray are jetted upward.

1685–95; blow2 + hole Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
blowhole (ˈbləʊˌhəʊl)
1.  the nostril, paired or single, of whales, situated far back on the skull
2.  a hole in ice through which whales, seals, etc, breathe
3.  a.  a vent for air or gas, esp to release fumes from a tunnel, passage, etc
 b.  (NZ) a hole emitting gas or steam in a volcanic region
4.  a bubble-like defect in an ingot resulting from gas being trapped during solidification
5.  geology a hole in a cliff top leading to a sea cave through which air is forced by the action of the sea

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1787, of whales and porpoises, from blow (v.1) + hole.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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