• IPA: /sɪˈteɪʃən/


  1. Pertaining to the zoologic order Cetacea, or associated with species falling under that taxonomic hierarchy.
    The poached blubber was definitely cetacean in origin, but the particular species could not be identified.
    • 2012, Hampton Roads Republican US Senate Debate Summary ↗:
      She was not as demure as she was in Roanoke; she seemed at the beginning rather like she felt more comfortable in the oceanic atmosphere harpooning her opponent. Indeed, at times, it seemed she was Ahab and the witherwin Allen was her Moby Dick; but while she sails her Pequod just as intently toward a singular goal, her alastor is much less clear and she bears no visible scars of a cetacean attacker.
  2. (by extension, sometimes, figurative) Resembling or relating to large aquatic mammals.
    The obese woman, ungainly on land, moved with a kind of cetacean grace in the water.
Synonyms Noun

cetacean (plural cetaceans)

  1. An animal belonging to the order Cetacea, including dolphins, porpoises, and whales.
    The tour promised spiritual experiences with humpback whales and other cetaceans, but all we saw were seagulls and a dead sea otter.

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