whalebone

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

whalebone (countable and uncountable, plural whalebones)

  1. 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
    • 1954, Alexander Alderson, chapter 5, The Subtle Minotaur[1]:
      “You have probably never seen anything like this before, Mr. Toler. It is baleen, or if you prefer it, whalebone, taken from the mouth of the bowhead whale. It is used by the whale to filter its food.”

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