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From New Latin Phoca (genus name) (Classical Latin phōca (seal), from Ancient Greek φώκη (phṓkē)) +‎ -ine.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfəʊsʌɪn/, /ˈfəʊsiːn/


phocine (comparative more phocine, superlative most phocine)

  1. Pertaining to a seal (or similar pinnipeds); seallike. [from 19th c.]
    • 1871, New York Daily Standard, 28 Dec 1871:
      He telegraphed to the whaling ports of New England, and sent messages to San Francisco and Alaska, to know if a group of sea lions and other specimens of the phocine tribe could be secured.
    • 1955, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita:
      she had already yanked out of me the coveted section and retreated to her mat near her phocine mamma.
    • 1987, William Boyd, The New Confessions:
      She walked over towards me with an odd elegance, big strides, like a champion girl swimmer, say; muscled but lean, with a phocine grace.



phocine (plural phocines)

  1. (zoology) A member of the subfamily Phocinae, comprising the "true" or "earless" seals.
    • 2007, Brian Keith Hall, Fins into Limbs, p. 313:
      Phocines anchor their hands by flexing their fingers, digging them into the substrate, and then pulling their body forward by elbow and shoulder flexion.