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whale +‎ -er



whaler (plural whalers)

  1. One who hunts whales; a person employed in the whaling industry.
    • 1890, Century Illustrated Magazine, XL, 511,
      For a whaler′s wife to have been “′round the Cape” half a dozen times, or even more, was nothing extraordinary.
    • 1986 June 5, Jeremy Cherfas, What price whales?, New Scientist, page 36,
      Whalers have always overexploited their stocks, driving them to commercial extinction. [] American whalers, operating at first from the coast and later in sea-going boats, took about 200 000 right whales in addition to humpbacks and grays.
    • 2001, Lawrence J. Cunningham, Janice J. Beaty, A History of Guam, page 170,
      The whalers brought a new way of life. They brought a chance for travel. Many Chamorros traveled to London and the United States. Over eight hundred Chamorro whalers settled in Honolulu.
  2. A seagoing vessel used for hunting whales.
    • 1863, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Sylvia′s Lovers, v.
      But o′ Thursday t′ Resolution, first whaler back this season, came in port.
    • 1995, Robert F. Rogers, Destiny′s Landfall: A History of Guam, page 98,
      The log of the Emily Morgan, an American whaler that visited Guam many times, described Spanish control: [] .
    • 2001, Arabella McIntyre-Brown, Liverpool: The First 1,000 years, page 79,
      But the Golden Lion was ambushed by a Naval frigate thinking that a whaler′s crew would be useful pressed men. The whaler′s crew didn′t agree, and there was a bloody skirmish on shore between the press gang and the crew of the Golden Lion which caused such a scandal that from then on whalers′ men were exempt from conscription.
  3. One who whales (flogs or beats).
  4. (slang) A large, strong person.
  5. (slang) Something of unusually great size, a whopper, a whacker.
  6. (Australia) Any shark of the family Carcharhinidae; a requiem shark.
    • 1997, John Ernest Randall, Gerald R Allen, Roger C. Steene, Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef, 2nd Edition, page 17,
      The whalers (or requiem sharks) are one of the largest and best known family of sharks. Worldwide there are 48 species in 12 genera. However, relatively few species are on the Great Barrier Reef.
    • 2003, Mark Thornley, Veda Dante, Peter Wilson, Action Guide: Surfing Australia, Tuttle Publishing, HK, page 264,
      The whaler shark family, which includes the grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos),silvertip (Carcharhinus albimarginatus), bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) and bronze whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus) are fast moving, territorial and have bitten divers snd surfers in the past.
    • 2008, Alan Murphy, Justin Flynn, Olivia Pozzan, Paul Harding, Queensland & the Great Barrier Reef, 5th Edition, Lonely Planet, page 219,
      You can also take a dip with lemon, whaler and other nonpredatory sharks.
  7. (Australian slang, dated) A sundowner; one who cruises about.
    • 1893 August 12, Sydney Morning Herald,
      the nomad, “the whaler,” it is who will find the new order hostile to his vested interest of doing nothing.

Derived terms[edit]


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