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- (physiology, uncountable) The bony material that makes up the plates in the mouth of the baleen whale, Mysticeti, which it uses to trap its food; formerly used in corsetry.
- Synonym: whalebone
- (zoology, countable) A baleen whale,
- 2007, Lance E. Davis, In Pursuit of Leviathan: Technology, Institutions, Productivity, and Profits:
- Scammon estimates the number of baleens killed in the years 1835-72 at 131,000; once again, his figure needs to be adjusted.
- (obsolete) A whale or other large fish.
- 1572, John Bossewell, Workes of Armorie:
- The Balene is a fishe great and huge, much like to the Whale, and is so called, because of his outcasting and shedding of water, for they throwe water higher then other great fishes of the sea.
plates in mouth of baleen whale
- James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928), “Baleen”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume I (A–B), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697, page 635, column 2.