porpoise definition

  • noun:
    • some of several gregarious toothed whales for the genus Phocaena and relevant genera, of oceanic seas, characteristically having a blunt snout and a triangular dorsal fin. Also known as water hog.
    • some of several related aquatic mammals, such as the dolphin.
    • a tiny cetacean regarding the family Phocoenidae, associated with whales and dolphins.
    • Any small dolphin.
    • Any little cetacean of genus Phocæna, especially Phocæna communis, or Phocæna phocæna, of Europe, and closely allied United states types (Phocæna Americana). The colour is dusky or blackish overhead, paler beneath. They have been closely allied towards the dolphins, but have a shorter snout. Called also harbor porpoise, herring hag, puffing pig, and snuffer.
    • a real dolphin (Delphinus); -- frequently so called by sailors.
    • A small toothed cetacean associated with family members Delphinidæ and subfamily Delphiminæ, and especially of the genus Phoeæna, of which there are many types, the best-known being P. communis, which attains a length of about 5 legs and has a blunt head perhaps not produced into a lengthy beak, and a thick body tapering toward the end.
    • any one of a number of little gregarious cetacean animals having a blunt snout and many teeth
  • verb:
    • stated of an aircraft: to create some plunges when taking off or landing.

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