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walrus

[wawl-ruh s, wol-] /ˈwɔl rəs, ˈwɒl-/
noun, plural walruses (especially collectively) walrus.
1.
a large marine mammal, Odobenus nosmarus, of arctic seas, related to the seals, and having flippers, a pair of large tusks, and a tough, wrinkled skin.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55; < Dutch: literally, whale horse; cognate with German Walross, Danish hvalros; compare Old English horshwæl horse-whale
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for walrus
  • The first light in the universe, the light used to push spacecraft, and the light produced by kicking the head of a walrus.
  • The planet's shores teemed with millions of manatees, seals, and walrus.
  • She promised a walrus in every igloo and a whale tooth in every papoose.
  • Instead, he winds up washing dishes, only to be summarily fired by his walrus boss.
  • walrus tusk ivory comes from two modified upper canines.
  • There are many on-going projects within the walrus section.
  • walrus are an important source of food for local residents, providing meat and blubber.
  • walrus tusks are canine teeth that grow continuously throughout life.
  • A male walrus painter who is frequently hungry and sorrowful.
  • The walrus is the only living species in the odobenidae family and odobenus genus.
British Dictionary definitions for walrus

walrus

/ˈwɔːlrəs; ˈwɒl-/
noun (pl) -ruses, -rus
1.
a pinniped mammal, Odobenus rosmarus, of northern seas, having a tough thick skin, upper canine teeth enlarged as tusks, and coarse whiskers and feeding mainly on shellfish: family Odobenidae
Word Origin
C17: probably from Dutch, from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse hrosshvalr (literally: horse whale) and Old English horschwæl; see horse, 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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Word Origin and History for walrus
n.

1650s, from Dutch walrus, which was probably a folk-etymology alteration (by influence of Dutch walvis "whale" and ros "horse") of a Scandinavian word, such as Old Norse rosmhvalr "walrus," hrosshvalr "a kind of whale," or rostungr "walrus." Old English had horschwæl, and later morse, from Lapp morsa or Finnish mursu, which ultimately might be the source, much garbled, of the first element in Old Norse rosmhvalr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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