- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdɒlf.ɪn/, [ˈdɒl̥fɪn]
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈdɑlf.ɪn/, [ˈdɑl̥fɪn]
Audio (US) (file)
From Middle English delphyn, from Latin delphīnus, from Ancient Greek δελφίς (delphís), from δελφύς (delphús, “womb”); the modern form in -ol- is probably influenced by the pronunciation of Middle French dauphin. Compare Swedish delfin. Doublet of dauphin. Displaced native Old English mereswīn (literally “sea pig”).
dolphin (plural dolphins)
- A carnivorous aquatic mammal in one of several families of order Cetacea, famed for its intelligence and occasional willingness to approach humans.
- A fish, the mahi-mahi or dorado, Coryphaena hippurus, with a dorsal fin that runs the length of the body, also known for iridescent coloration.
- (heraldry) A depiction of a fish, with a broad indented fin, usually embowed.
- The dauphin, eldest son of the kings of France.
- (history) A mass of iron or lead hung from the yardarm, in readiness to be dropped through the deck and the hull of an enemy's vessel to sink it.
- (nautical) A kind of wreath or strap of plaited cordage.
- (nautical) A spar or buoy held by an anchor and furnished with a ring to which ships may fasten their cables.
- (nautical) A mooring post on a wharf or beach.
- (nautical) A permanent fender designed to protect a heavy boat or coastal structure from the impact of large floating objects such as ice or floating logs.
- 1844, The Technical Educator, an encyclopædia, page 107:
- At each end of the piers in the water, in cases where several rows of pile are driven, a sort of cutwater should be formed, in order to ward off heavy bodies, such as floating trees, ice, etc. and prevent them from injuring the superstructure (called in German constructions, "Eisbrecher," or ice-breaker). This is usually done by driving one pile by itself in advance of the rest, or by forming what is called a "dolphin" at each end of the pier.
- 1852, William Tierney Clark, An Account, with illustrations, of the Suspension Bridge across the River Danube, uniting Pesth with Buda and the adjacent country, in the Kingdom of Hungary, etc, page 37:
- An ice-breaker or dolphin was also constructed during the latter part of the autumn, a little above the site for No. 2 dam, or that for the twoer nearest the Pesth shore; this dolphin, which served as a protection against the ice, rafts, &c. was constructed at this time, so that a means might be afforded of judging of the actual force of the ice during the winter ensuing; and the event proved that its construction was most fortunate, as the winter of 1840-41 was unusually severe.
- 1868, Stephen Bleecker Luce, Seamanship, page 28:
- The Dolphin is now seldom used, but a rope treated in the same manner, with mousings raised on it at regular intervals, is sometimes put around a Launch, just below the gunwale outside and secured there as a sort of permanent fender; this also is called a Dolphin.
- 1852, The Congressional Globe: Volume 32, page xxx:
- For a dolphin or buoy to be placed on the south point of Goat Island, in the harbor of Newport, one hundred and fifty dollars.
- 1860 March 31, “Victoria Bridge”, in American Railroad Journal, volume 16, number 13:
- Sometimes a stoppage would take place owing to the accumulation of ice between the Dolphin and the dam, which kept that above back until a mass of ice more resembling an island than anything else it can be compared to, would force the whole mass before it, breaking up the large blocks accumulated at the dam into a thousand pieces.
- (military, obsolete) One of the handles above the trunnions by which a gun was lifted.
- Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)
- Arabian common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
- Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii)
- Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis)
- Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus)
- Australian snubfin dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni)
- black dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia)
- blind river dolphin (Platanista gangetica)
- bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.)
- Chilean dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia)
- Chinese river dolphin
- Chinese white dolphin
- Clymene dolphin
- Commerson's dolphin
- common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
- dolphin dive
- dolphinfish (Coryphaena spp.)
- dolphin fly (Aphis fabae)
- dolphin hugger
- dolphin kick
- dolphin striker
- dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus)
- flog the dolphin
- Fraser's dolphin
- Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica)
- green dolphin
- Guiana dolphin
- Heaviside's dolphin
- Hector's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori)
- hourglass dolphin (Lagenorhynchus cruciger)
- humpback dolphin (Sousa spp.)
- Indian humpback dolphin
- Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin (Sousa plumbea)
- Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis)
- Indus River dolphin (Platanista minor)
- Irrawaddy dolphin
- La Plata dolphin
- long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
- Māui dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori)
- northern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis)
- Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis)
- Pacific white-sided dolphin
- panda dolphin
- pantropical spotted dolphin
- Peale's dolphin
- piebald dolphin
- pink dolphin
- Risso's dolphin
- river dolphin
- rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis)
- Sarawak dolphin
- short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
- side-swimming dolphin (Platanista gangetica)
- skunk dolphin
- South Asian river dolphin
- southern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii)
- spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris)
- spotted dolphin
- striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)
- wax the dolphin
- white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)
- white-sided dolphin
- whitefin dolphin
- Yangtze river dolphin, Yangtze dolphin, Yangtze River dolphin (†Lipotes vexillifer)
Ultimately from 3rd Duke of Alba (duc-d’Albe in French), who was the first to build this type of structure in the Spanish Netherlands in the 16th century. Possibly from Dutch dukdalf, or the plural dukdalven, through elision of the initial duk-.
dolphin (plural dolphins)
- (nautical) A man-made semi submerged maritime structure, usually installed to provide a fixed structure for temporary mooring, to prevent ships from drifting to shallow water or to serve as base for navigational aids.
- “dolphin”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
- “dolphin”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- Alternative form of