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whale 1  (hwl, wl)
1. 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.
2. Informal An impressive example: a whale of a story.
intr.v. whaled, whal·ing, whales
To engage in the hunting of whales.

[Middle English, from Old English hw?l.]

whale 2  (hwl, wl)
v. whaled, whal·ing, whales
To strike or hit repeatedly and forcefully; thrash.
To attack vehemently: The poet whaled away at the critics.

[Origin unknown.]

whale  /wel/  n. 1 a very large mammal shaped like a fish and found in the ocean: The blue whale may reach 100 feet in length and weigh 150 tons. 2 infrml. a whale of a s.t.: an extremely good s.t.: We had a whale of a time at the beach. whale

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