|1.||a. a barbed missile attached to a long cord and hurled or fired from a gun when hunting whales, etc|
|b. (as modifier): a harpoon gun|
|2.||(tr) to spear with or as if with a harpoon|
|[C17: probably from Dutch harpoen, from Old French harpon clasp, from harper to seize, perhaps of Scandinavian origin]|
barbed spear used to kill whales, tuna, swordfish, and other large sea creatures, formerly thrown by hand but now, in the case of whales, shot from especially constructed guns
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