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…’


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