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[bloh-hohl] /ˈbloʊˌhoʊl/
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.
Origin of blowhole
1685-95; blow2 + hole Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for blowhole
  • Unlike today's whales, it had no blowhole-the ancient behemoth had to raise its head above water to breathe.
  • The largest animal ever to have lived, the blue whale is a marvel of bone and blubber, blowhole and baleen-in immense proportions.
  • When the whale surfaces, the muscles open the blowhole and stale air comes out from the lungs.
  • However, there could have been one or more than one blowhole through the zinc chromate putty before ignition.
  • Orcas breathe by opening the muscular flap of the blowhole.
  • Don't miss the blowhole, a fascinating geologic feature.
  • Any applied water should be directed away from the dolphin's blowhole.
  • Body color is dark with white lips and throat and a dark dorsal cape that is narrow between the blowhole and dorsal fin.
  • The dorsal fin usually appears at the same time as the blowhole, when the animal surfaces to breathe.
  • Toothed whales have a single blowhole and do not have baleen plates.
British Dictionary definitions for blowhole


the nostril, paired or single, of whales, situated far back on the skull
a hole in ice through which whales, seals, etc, breathe
  1. a vent for air or gas, esp to release fumes from a tunnel, passage, etc
  2. (NZ) a hole emitting gas or steam in a volcanic region
a bubble-like defect in an ingot resulting from gas being trapped during solidification
(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 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 blowhole

also blow-hole, 1787, of whales and porpoises, from blow (v.1) + hole.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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