[hweyl-bohn, weyl-]
an elastic, horny substance growing in place of teeth in the upper jaw of certain whales, and forming a series of thin, parallel plates on each side of the palate; baleen.
a thin strip of this substance, for stiffening a corset.

1175–1225; whale1 + bone

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To whalebone
World English Dictionary
whalebone (ˈweɪlˌbəʊn)
1.  Also called: baleen a horny elastic material forming a series of numerous thin plates that hang from the upper jaw on either side of the palate in the toothless (whalebone) whales and strain plankton from water entering the mouth
2.  a thin strip of this substance, used in stiffening corsets, bodices, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


series of stiff keratinous plates in the mouths of baleen whales, used to strain plankton from seawater. Whalebone was once important in the production of corsets, brushes, and other goods

Learn more about whalebone with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
No longer made from whalebone and sealskin, kayaks have gone high tech.
The half-breed obeyed at once, his knees trembling as if they had been made of
Corsets and hoop skirts were constructed from whalebone.
It was netting hundreds of anchovies in its huge whalebone jaw-filters.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature