/hwayl"bohn', wayl"-/, n.
1. 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.
2. a thin strip of this substance, for stiffening a corset.
[1175-1225; WHALE1 + BONE]

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also called  baleen 

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

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whalebone — Whale bone , n. A firm, elastic substance resembling horn, taken from the upper jaw of the right whale; baleen. It is used as a stiffening in stays, fans, screens, and for various other purposes. See {Baleen}. [1913 Webster] Note: Whalebone is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whalebone — ► NOUN 1) an elastic horny substance which grows in a series of thin parallel plates in the upper jaw of some whales and is used by them to strain plankton from the seawater. 2) strips of this substance, formerly used as stays in corsets and… …   English terms dictionary

  • whalebone — [hwāl′bōn΄, wāl′bōn΄] n. 1. BALEEN 2. something made of baleen: formerly much used for corset stays and whips …   English World dictionary

  • whalebone — noun Date: 15th century 1. baleen 2. an article made of whalebone …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • whalebone — whale•bone [[t]ˈ(h)weɪlˌboʊn, ˈweɪl [/t]] n. 1) mam Also called baleen an elastic, horny substance hanging in fringed platelike sheets from the upper jaws of whalebone whales and serving to strain plankton. 2) clo something made of this substance …   From formal English to slang

  • whalebone — n. an elastic horny substance growing in thin parallel plates in the upper jaw of some whales, used as stiffening etc. Phrases and idioms: whalebone whale a baleen whale …   Useful english dictionary

  • whalebone — noun The horny material from the fringed plates of the upper jaw of baleen whales that are used to filter plankton; once used as stays in corsets Syn: baleen …   Wiktionary

  • whalebone — whale|bone [ˈweılbəun US boun] n [U] a hard substance taken from the upper jaw of whales, used in the past for making women s clothes stiff …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • whalebone — whale|bone [ weıl,boun, hweıl,boun ] noun uncount a hard substance from whales that was used in the past to make women s clothing stiff …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • whalebone — sb. [whalles bone]. Wright’s L. P. p. 38 …   Oldest English Words

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