Definition of Cetacea in English:

Cetacea

plural noun

Zoology
  • An order of marine mammals that comprises the whales, dolphins, and porpoises. These have a streamlined hairless body, no hind limbs, a horizontal tail fin, and a blowhole on top of the head for breathing.

    • ‘The order Cetacea comprises two extant sub-orders and one extinct sub-order.’
    • ‘However, in a phylogenetic analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Jamaican fruit bat it appeared more closely related to cetferungulates, a clade including Cetacea, Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla, and Carnivora.’
    • ‘The Cetacea are one of the most distinctive and highly specialized orders of mammals.’
    • ‘They found that the hypothesis that a monophyletic Mesonychia is the sister taxon of Cetacea, and a monophyletic Artiodactyla is the extant sister taxon of Cetacea was significantly congruent with the stratigraphic record.’
    • ‘The order Sirenia is composed of manatees and dugongs, and the order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises.’

Origin

Modern Latin (plural), from Latin cetus, from Greek kētos ‘whale’.

Pronunciation

Cetacea

/siˈtāSH(ē)ə/