right whale

noun
any of several large whalebone whales of the genus Balaena, of circumpolar seas: the species B. glacialis is greatly reduced in numbers.

Origin:
1715–25; allegedly so called because it was the “right” whale to hunt, alluding to its relative buoyancy when killed, proximity to land, the value of its blubber, etc.

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World English Dictionary
right whale
 
n
See also bowhead any large whalebone whale of the family Balaenidae. They are grey or black, have a large head, and, in most, no dorsal fin, and are hunted as a source of whalebone and oil
 
[C19: perhaps so named because it was right for hunting]

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Example sentences
Get lucky and you will see a right whale, an endangered mammal that lives in the region's waters.
When a ship and a northern right whale collide, the whale loses.
Both the gray whale off of our west coast and the right whale off of our east coast were hunted to the verge of extinction.
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