harpoon

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English[edit]

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harpoon
a whaling harpoon

Etymology[edit]

From Old French harpon, from Latin harpaga, a rare variant of Latin harpagō, from Ancient Greek ἁρπάγη (harpágē, hook), from ἁρπάζω (harpázō, to snatch away, to carry off, to seize, to captivate). Sense and spelling perhaps influenced by Dutch harpoen (harpoon).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

harpoon (plural harpoons)

  1. A spearlike weapon with a barbed head used in hunting whales and large fish.
  2. (slang) A harmonica.

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Verb[edit]

harpoon (third-person singular simple present harpoons, present participle harpooning, simple past and past participle harpooned)

  1. (transitive) To shoot something with a harpoon.
    • 1983, Richard Ellis, The Book of Sharks, Knopf, →ISBN, page 176:
      Pilot whales, also known as blackfish, were fairly plentiful, and Mundus would harpoon one or two, haul them out onto the beach, and butcher them.

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