Meaning of beluga in English:


Pronunciation /bəˈluːɡə/

nounbeluga, belugas

  • 1A small white toothed whale related to the narwhal, living in herds mainly in Arctic coastal waters.

    Delphinapterus leucas, family Monodontidae

    ‘Dolphins and porpoises are examples of odontocetes, as are belugas, narwhals, killer whales, sperm whales, and beaked whales.’
    Also called white whale
    • ‘The Antarctic lacks small resident toothed whales like the beluga and the narwhal of the Arctic.’
    • ‘In addition to killing over 200 fin and minke whales, Greenlandic hunters also kill a large, but unknown, number of small whales each year, including belugas, narwhals, pilot whales and orcas.’
    • ‘Polar bears are seagoing hunters that roam vast areas of the Arctic, pursuing a movable feast of seals, narwhals, beluga whales, and walruses.’
    • ‘The blue whale, the beluga and the walrus all have this protective layer of fat which serves as insulation.’
    • ‘Marine mammals include narwhals, beluga whales, walrus, and ringed and bearded seals.’
    • ‘The tusked narwhal, white beluga whales and elusive bowhead whale all live off the northern part of this island.’
    • ‘Some of the species found here include the walrus, polar bear, beluga, narwhal, bearded seals, harp seal, harbour seal, ringed seal, bowhead whale, ivory gull, and some migratory birds.’
    • ‘This learned history of the Far North probes the lives of narwhals, belugas, polar bears, humans, and other life forms that have eked out a living in this dazzling, difficult land.’
    • ‘Occasionally they even pluck a walrus, beluga whale, or narwhal from the watery depths below the pack ice.’
    • ‘These mammals include beluga whales, narwhals, and ring seals.’
    • ‘The beluga or white whale is a medium-sized odontocete, widely distributed throughout Arctic waters.’
    • ‘We were relieved not to have had to use our borrowed anti-polar bear rifle, but disappointed not to see any bears, walruses, narwhal or beluga.’
    • ‘Aquatic mammals that live in the waters off the coast include walrus, ringed seals, bearded seals, beluga, narwhal, and various other whales.’
    • ‘Unlike other porpoises and dolphins, belugas are quite leisurely.’
    • ‘Come face to face with polar bears, walruses, harbour seals and beluga whales.’
    • ‘While the cod, pollack and haddock may have all but disappeared, you stand a good chance of spotting porpoises, minke whales and even the odd beluga.’
    • ‘Arctic waters are renowned for such marine mammals as bowhead and beluga whales and ringed, spotted and bearded seals.’
    • ‘Inuit have hunted belugas whale for centuries, and follow their own principle of conservation, without government regulation.’
    • ‘As are many whale populations, belugas in this area are declining, despite regulations to protect them.’
  • 2A very large sturgeon occurring in the inland seas and associated rivers of central Eurasia.

    Huso huso, family Acipenseridae

    ‘Weary fishermen stand waist deep in chilly water and strain every muscle, fighting to subdue the gigantic beluga, great white sturgeon, which they have netted in the muddy Ural river.’
    • ‘Most beluga sturgeon were historically found in the Caspian Sea.’
    • ‘Then in October 2004 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the beluga sturgeon as endangered.’
    • ‘Unregulated overfishing, loss of spawning habitat, and poaching to supply the black market beluga caviar trade have contributed to a notable decrease in the wild beluga sturgeon population.’
    • ‘The beluga sturgeon - the biggest species - has been known to grow up to five metres in length and weigh as much as a ton.’
    • ‘And from belugas to blowfish, the world's largest aquarium has it all.’
    • ‘Sources for these belugas may include the Nelson River, southern Hudson Bay, northern Hudson Bay, James Bay, and EHB.’
    • ‘The largest is the Russian sturgeon, or beluga.’
    • ‘In 1998, beluga and all other previously unlisted sturgeons and paddlefish were included in CITES Appendix II.’
    1. 2.1mass noun Caviar obtained from the beluga sturgeon.
      ‘Female beluga sturgeon are considered the world's most valuable commercially harvested fish because they supply beluga caviar, one of the most highly prized delicacies in the world.’
      • ‘Female beluga can produce 12% of their body weight in caviar and beluga caviar can demand $200 / kg.’
      • ‘You whisk the eggs strenuously with a lot of milk and you put the result in a very hot, buttered frying pan and in a minute or less you plonk them on some toast, preferably with some beluga caviar.’
      • ‘Hors d' oeuvres included soup of mussel and saffron, salmon gravalax with oyster beignets and citrus dressing or salad of baby gems with tiger prawns and beluga caviar.’
      • ‘As the clock struck midnight, Ali was in Washington DC, dining on beluga caviar, lobster, and foie gras.’
      • ‘For on offer was smoked salmon and beluga caviar, then a choice of lobster salad, risotto, prime beef fillet or pan-fried sea bass.’
      • ‘A couple of guards in distinctive black uniforms squat nearby, watching the fierce battle for at least 40 kilos of precious beluga caviar, hidden in the fishes' bodies and worth thousands of dollars on the world market.’
      • ‘Imagine commencing with seafood and saffron cappuccino, followed by creamy mashed potatoes and beluga caviar?’
      • ‘From restaurants to root vegetables and from burgers to beluga caviar, if it's edible, this show has an opinion about it.’
      • ‘The blackboard items change regularly and on our evening included monkfish, turbot, crocodile satays and beluga caviar!’
      • ‘The American designer threw open the doors of his new pad on Saturday night, welcoming 400 of his greatest friends with $500,000 of the best beluga caviar and Champagne.’
      • ‘CITES's approval also comes at a time when the US government, the world's leading importer of beluga caviar, is considering an outright ban.’
      • ‘The United States is the largest importer of beluga caviar.’
      • ‘Nicole led me to a corner table displaying two bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal champagne and a gargantuan tin of beluga caviar.’
      • ‘Better still, if you're only cooking for one or two, really go for it and top the pancakes with real beluga caviar.’
      • ‘Three dark mounds sit on my plate, glistening moistly: a fat teaspoon each of beluga, osetra and sevruga caviar.’
      • ‘Caviar in tins and jars range from salmon's red (ripe and briny) at 99 roubles for a 113-gram can to the luscious, silvery-grey beluga at 500 roubles.’


Late 16th century (in beluga (sense 2)): from Russian belukha (beluga (sense 1)), beluga (beluga (sense 2)), both from belyĭ ‘white’.