Ba*leen" (?), n. [F. baleine whale and whalibone, L. balaena a whale; cf. Gr. . ] Zool. & Com.
Plates or blades of "whalebone," from two to twelve feet long, and sometimes a foot wide, which in certain whales (Balaenoidea) are attached side by side along the upper jaw, and form a fringelike sieve by which the food is retained in the mouth.
© Webster 1913.