right whale

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Related to right whale: Pygmy Right Whale, blue whale

right whale

Any of several large baleen whales of the family Balaenidae, characterized by a large head with an arched upper jaw and absence of a dorsal fin.

[Because it was the "right" whale to kill.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

right whale

(Animals) 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. See also bowhead
[C19: perhaps so named because it was right for hunting]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

right′ whale`

any of several large whalebone whales of the genus Balaena, of circumpolar seas.
[1715–25; allusion unclear]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.right whale - large Arctic whalebone whaleright whale - large Arctic whalebone whale; allegedly the `right' whale to hunt because of its valuable whalebone and oil
baleen whale, whalebone whale - whale with plates of whalebone along the upper jaw for filtering plankton from the water
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
'Yes, you'll soon see this right whale's head hoisted up opposite that parmacetti's.'
While crossing, I saw numerous whales belonging to the three kinds peculiar to the southern seas; the whale, or the English "right whale," which has no dorsal fin; the "humpback," with reeved chest and large, whitish fins, which, in spite of its name, do not form wings; and the fin-back, of a yellowish brown, the liveliest of all the cetacea.
Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den --the bar-- a rude attempt at a right whale's head.
In the Atlantic Ocean, a dog perched in the bow of a boat has sniffed out the feces of the endangered and elusive North Atlantic right whale. In Washington, a Belgian sheepdog is helping researchers find the state's rare Western pond turtle.
The region is also integral to the survival of many threatened species, including the critically endangered blue whale and the southern right whale.
Near this region, the scientists also noted a single right whale in cold water June 14, 1999, soon after the seasonal sea ice retreat, according to the article.
Staving off seasickness, I viewed many pelagic species and three species of whale, including the extremely rare North Atlantic right whale.
Right Whale: This is considered the most endangered whale species.
But the Northern Right Whale, last seen over 20 years ago, is believed to be extinct.
The right whale lumbers along with its mouth half open filtering out plankton, its food, through the baleen plates.
The story of the southern right whale mirrors that of the humpbacks that migrate up and down Australia's cast and west coasts each year.

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