Any aquatic mammal of the order Cetacea, especially any one of the large species, some of which become nearly one hundred feet long. Whales are hunted chiefly for their oil and baleen, or whalebone.
- Any of various marine mammals of the order Cetacea, having the general shape of a fish with forelimbs modified to form flippers, a tail with horizontal flukes, and one or two blowholes for breathing, especially one of the very large species as distinguished from the smaller dolphins and porpoises.
- Informal An impressive example: a whale of a story.
- To engage in the hunting of whales.
- To strike or hit repeatedly and forcefully; thrash.
- To attack vehemently: The poet whaled away at the critics.