Definition of cachalot in English:



  • old-fashioned term for sperm whale
    • ‘The sperm whale, or cachalot, is one of the cetaceans, a group of marine mammals whose ancestors were probably land animals.’
    • ‘Legendary whales appear as immense cachalots and tend to appear ghostly, with white or very light grey hides that meld in with the briney foam.’
    • ‘I'm helping a friend who has to do some researches on giant squids and cachalots (all kinds of info would be welcome) and I thought that this may be a good place to ask.’
    • ‘What whalers term schools are assemblages of female cachalots in large numbers - from twenty to a hundred, together with their young, called calves, and piloted by one or more adult males, called bulls.’
    • ‘Squids are favorite meal of cachalots; they usually eat rather small squids of 4-6 kilograms and gulp them in schools.’
    • ‘Toothed whales are divided into three groups: the cachalots, the porpoises and the dolphins.’
    • ‘They have plenty of natural enemies - cachalots, swordfish, and sawfish - without you troubling them.’
    • ‘They can become at least 18 meters long, and cachalots and other whales are often seen with scars from their suckers.’
    • ‘Seeing as they know that cachalots need quite an amount of food, and seeing as we know how much cachalots exist, we can make an estimate of how much Giant Squids are alive.’
    • ‘The surrounding sea is visited by dolphins, cachalots and whales.’


Mid 18th century: from French, from Spanish and Portuguese cachalote, from cachola ‘big head’.