Definition of rorqual in English:



  • A baleen whale of streamlined appearance with pleated skin on the underside.

    Family Balaenopteridae: two genera and six species, including the common rorqual (or fin whale)

    ‘Like rorquals, gray whales are migratory species.’
    • ‘Fairly secretive visitors among the larger rorquals are the fin whale and its slightly smaller cousin, the sei whale.’
    • ‘The research shows that rorquals, commonly referred to as Bryde's whales, actually represent three distinct species.’
    • ‘The harpoon guns were mounted on fast steam-driven vessels, making it possible to catch the faster-swimming rorquals (blue, fin, Sei, and Minke whales).’
    • ‘When the supply of rorquals on their side of the ocean seemed to be running low, the Norwegians crossed the ocean to Newfoundland…’



/ˈrôrkwəl/ /ˈrɔrkwəl/


Early 19th century via French from Norwegian røyrkval, from Old Norse reythr, the specific name, + hvalr ‘whale’.