Por"poise (?), n. [OE. porpeys, OF. porpeis, literally, hog fish, from L. porcus swine + piscis fish. See Pork, and Fish.]
Any small cetacean of the genus Phocaena, especially P. communis, or P. phocaena, of Europe, and the closely allied American species (P. Americana). The color is dusky or blackish above, paler beneath. They are closely allied to the dolphins, but have a shorter snout. Called also harbor porpoise, herring hag, puffing pig, and snuffer.
A true dolphin (Delphinus); -- often so called by sailors.
Skunk porpoise, ∨ Bay porpoise Zool., a North American porpoise (Lagenorhynchus acutus), larger than the common species, and with broad stripes of white and yellow on the sides. See Illustration in Appendix.
© Webster 1913.