Definition of phocine in English:



  • Relating to or affecting the true (earless) seals.

    • ‘The latest outbreak of phocine distemper virus has already killed more than 1,500 seals in other parts of Britain.’
    • ‘Empirical study of behavior can help prevent disease in species of conservation concern like phocine distemper in grey seals.’
    • ‘The manager of the Orkney Seal Rescue Centre is playing down the significance of the first confirmed case of phocine distemper virus in Scotland, in a common seal washed ashore at Dornoch last month.’
    • ‘Pups Naan and Madras have been saved by marine specialists from the phocine distemper outbreak, which has killed about 3,680 seals since it returned to English shores this summer, according to the RSPCA.’
    • ‘There are four clades that meet both of these criteria (74.2% - 99.9% nucleotide identity): the Sendai clade, the human parainfluenza-3 clade, the measles clade, and the phocine/canine distemper clade.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Phocinae (subfamily name), from Greek phōkē seal.