- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdɒlfɪn/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈdɑlfɪn/
Audio (US) (file)
From Middle English dolfin, from Old French daulphin, dalphin, daufin, from Latin delphīnus, from Ancient Greek δελφίς (delphís), from δελφύς (delphús, “womb”). Compare Swedish delfin. Doublet of dauphin. Displaced native mereswine (“dolphin or porpoise”), from 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.
- (historical) 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.
- A mooring post on a wharf or beach.
- A permanent fender around a heavy boat just below the gunwale.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Ham. Nav. Encyc to this entry?)
- (military, obsolete) One of the handles above the trunnions by which a gun was lifted.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for dolphin in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)
- Amazon River dolphin
- Arabian common dolphin
- Atlantic humpback dolphin
- Atlantic spotted dolphin
- Atlantic white-sided dolphin
- Australian snubfin dolphin
- bottlenose dolphin
- Chilean dolphin
- Chinese white dolphin
- Commerson's dolphin
- common dolphin
- dolphin hugger
- dusky dolphin
- flog the dolphin
- Fraser's dolphin
- Ganges and Indus River dolphin
- Heaviside's dolphin
- Hector's dolphin
- hourglass dolphin
- humpback dolphin dolphin
- Indian humpback dolphin
- Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin
- Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin
- Irrawaddy dolphin
- La Plata dolphin
- long-beaked common dolphin
- Māui dolphin
- northern right whale dolphin
- Pacific humpback dolphin
- Pacific white-sided dolphin
- Peale's dolphin
- pink dolphin
- Risso's dolphin
- rought-toothed dolphin
- short-beaked common dolphin
- southern right whale dolphin
- spinner dolphin
- striped dolphin
- white-beaked dolphin
- Yangtze river dolphin
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.