Meaning of porpoise


Pronunciation: (pôr'pus), [key]
— n., pl. v., -poise, -pois•es, -poised, -pois•ing.
  1. any of several small, gregarious cetaceans of the genus Phocoena, usually blackish above and paler beneath, and having a blunt, rounded snout, esp. the common porpoise, P. phocoena, of both the North Atlantic and Pacific.
  2. any of several other small cetaceans, as the common dolphin, Delphinus delphis.
  1. (of a speeding motorboat) to leap clear of the water after striking a wave.
  2. (of a torpedo) to appear above the surface of the water.
  3. to move forward with a rising and falling motion in the manner of a porpoise: The car has a tendency to porpoise when overloaded.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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