walrus

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English[edit]

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A walrus

Etymology[edit]

From Danish hvalros, an inversion of Old Norse hrosshvalr (horse-whale). The term may have entered English via Dutch walrus. Compare Icelandic hross (a horse) and hvalur (a whale) and German Walross.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɔːl.ɹəs/, /ˈwɒl.ɹəs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈwɑl.ɹəs/, /ˈwɔl.ɹəs/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

walrus (plural walruses or walrus or walrusses)

  1. (countable) A large Arctic marine mammal related to seals and having long tusks, tough, wrinkled skin, and four flippers, Odobenus rosmarus.

Synonyms[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

The hypercorrect plurals walri and walrii, based on a faulty assumption that the word derives from a Latin noun of the second declension, are generally considered to be nonstandard.

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The origin of this word is uncertain, with several theories proposed. The Old Norse word hrossvalr (horse-whale) is thought to have been passed to Dutch in an inverted form as wal (whale; large sea-animal) +‎ ros (horse). The inversion would likely have happened due to the influence of the already existing Dutch compound walvis (whale, lit. whale-fish). An alternate theory is that is comes from wal (shore) +‎ reus (giant).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

walrus m (plural walrussen, diminutive walrusje n)

  1. walrus

See also[edit]