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[rawr-kwuh l] /ˈrɔr kwəl/
any of several whales of the genus Balaenoptera; finback.
Origin of rorqual
1820-30; < French < Norwegian rørkval, Old Norse reytharhvalr, equivalent to reyth(a)r rorqual (akin to rauthr red1) + hvalr whale1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rorqual
  • Gulping behaviour in rorqual whales: underwater observations and functional interpretation.
  • These were easily identified due to their bumpy rostrum, rorqual streaks, blowhole placement and dorsal fin.
  • Reconstructing the rorqual phylogeny: with comments on the use of molecular and morphological data for systematic study.
  • The fin whale is the second largest rorqual in size and is also cosmopolitan in distribution.
British Dictionary definitions for rorqual


any of several whalebone whales of the genus Balaenoptera, esp B. physalus: family Balaenopteridae. They have a dorsal fin and a series of grooves along the throat and chest Also called finback
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Norwegian rörhval, from Old Norse reytharhvalr, from reythr (from rauthr red) + hvalr whale
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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