Definition of minke in English:


(also minke whale)


  • A small rorqual whale with a dark grey back, white underparts, and pale markings on the fins and behind the head.

    • ‘A minke whale caught by a whaling ship from Iceland.’
    • ‘In the anti-whaling capitals of the world, the ships' haul of 43 Bryde's whales, five sperm whales and 40 smaller minkes was met with outrage.’
    • ‘Humpbacks, minkes and 18 other species of whales swim in Newfoundland waters.’
    • ‘The fleet's five vessels plan to catch 260 whales - 150 minke, 50 Bryde's, 50 sei and 10 sperm whales as part of a scientific research project.’
    • ‘What do a puffin and a minke whale have in common?’
    • ‘Those known to visit British waters include (top to bottom) the humpback, the fin, the sei, the minke and (at back) the giant blue whale.’
    • ‘Its government has notified the International Whaling Commission that it will kill 50 minke whales and 50 endangered sei whales on top of the 100 minkes it already has been hunting annually.’
    • ‘The eight-night cruise begins in June - perfect for the midnight sun - and you've a strong chance of seeing minkes, orcas and sperm whales.’
    • ‘If there is open trade in minkes you will open the door to trade in other whale species.’
    • ‘On the agenda are 59 proposals involving the minke whale, yellow-naped Amazon parrot, bigleaf mahogany, Malaysian giant turtle, and Patagonian toothfish, among others.’
    • ‘Japan, which uses a scientific loophole to claim its whaling is for scientific research, will this year kill hundreds of endangered Pacific minke, sei, Bryde's and sperm whales.’
    • ‘Dall's porpoises and a minke whale were also seen rapidly moving away from the vessel.’
    • ‘So, it looks as though the species of large whales the killer whales did eat were typically calves of other humpback whales or grey whales or minke, and grey whales have recovered and yet we see this decline of other species.’
    • ‘However, it now says it wants to catch 2,914 minkes, the smallest of the great whales.’
    • ‘One of the species that we decided to focus on is one of the most unique whale populations in the world, the Antarctic minke whale.’
    • ‘So there could be as few as 40,000 minkes in the northeast Atlantic and the Norwegian whale harvest may be depleting the population.’
    • ‘It includes minke, Bryde's, sei, fin, humpback, and blue whales.’
    • ‘Monterey Bay is more likely to yield up orcas, humpbacks or minkes at this time of year in what is America's largest marine sanctuary in an underwater canyon the size of the Grand Canyon.’
    • ‘As it just so happens - and this is pure coincidence - the meat from the minke, sei and sperm whales analytically slaughtered during the sheerly scientific research program is sold commercially.’
    • ‘Some of the best views of Acadia are to be had from the sea and Bar Harbor is the place to board a ship for a tour of the off-lying islands, or to whalewatch in a boat regularly jostled by 70 ft long finbacks, humpbacks and minkes.’


1930s: probably from Meincke, the name of a Norwegian whaler.