dolphin

[dol-fin, dawl-]
noun
1.
any of several chiefly marine, cetacean mammals of the family Delphinidae, having a fishlike body, numerous teeth, and the front of the head elongated into a beaklike projection.
2.
Also called dolphinfish, mahimahi, pompano dolphin. either of two large, slender fishes, Coryphaena hippurus or C. equisetis, of warm and temperate seas.
3.
Nautical.
a.
a pile, cluster of piles, or buoy to which a vessel may be moored in open water.
b.
a cluster of piles used as a fender, as at the entrance to a dock.
c.
a pudding fender at the nose of a tugboat or on the side of a vessel.
4.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Delphinus.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English dolphyn < Old French daulphin < Old Provençal dalfin < Vulgar Latin *dalfīnus, Latin delphīnus < Greek delphī́n

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World English Dictionary
dolphin (ˈdɒlfɪn)
 
n
1.  any of various marine cetacean mammals of the family Delphinidae, esp Delphinus delphis, that are typically smaller than whales and larger than porpoises and have a beaklike snout
2.  river dolphin any freshwater cetacean of the family Platanistidae, inhabiting rivers of North and South America and S Asia. They are smaller than marine dolphins and have a longer narrower snout
3.  Also called: dorado either of two large marine percoid fishes, Coryphaena hippurus or C. equisetis, that resemble the cetacean dolphins and have an iridescent coloration
4.  nautical a post or buoy for mooring a vessel
 
[C13: from Old French dauphin, via Latin, from Greek delphin-, delphis]

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

dolphin
c.1350, from O.Fr. daulphin, from M.L. dolfinus, from L. delphinus "dolphin," from Gk. delphis (gen. delphinos) "dolphin," related to delphys "womb," probably via notion of the animal bearing live young. Popularly applied to the dorado from late 16c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Cruel fishing methods once again endanger dolphins.
In spite of laws intended to protect them, federal indifference and cruel
  fishing methods once again endanger dolphins.
The lungs and thorax were essentially the same in a dolphin as in a human
  being, yet dolphins survived great depths.
Farmers in the floodplain build houses and barns on stilts and watch pink
  dolphins sport from their doorsteps.
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