1. usurper
    one who wrongfully or illegally seizes and holds the place of another
    And here be it said, that the Greenland Whale is an usurper upon the throne of the seas.
  2. cogent
    powerfully persuasive
    A walrus spouts much like a whale, but the walrus is not a fish, because he is amphibious. but the last term of the definition is still more cogent, as coupled with the first.
  3. appellation
    identifying word or words by which someone or something is called and classified or distinguished from others
    And so the appellation must at last have come to be bestowed upon the whale from which this spermaceti was really derived.
  4. multitudinous
    too numerous to be counted
    Among the fishermen, he is indiscriminately designated by all the following titles: The Whale; the Greenland Whale; the Black Whale; the Great Whale; the True Whale; the Right Whale. there is a deal of obscurity concerning the identity of the species thus multitudinously baptized.
  5. elucidate
    make clear and (more) comprehensible
    The Right Whale will be elsewhere treated of at some length, with reference to elucidating the Sperm Whale.
  6. nomenclature
    a system of words used to name things in a particular discipline
    In connexion with this appellative of 'Whalebone whales', it is of great importance to mention, that however such a nomenclature may be convenient in facilitating allusions to some kind of whales, yet it is in vain to attempt a clear classification of the Leviathan, founded upon either his baleen, or hump, or fin, or teeth; notwithstanding that those marked parts or features very obviously seem better adapted to afford the basis for a regular system of Cetology than any other detached
  7. sonorous
    full and loud and deep
    Though this fish, whose loud sonorous breathing, or rather blowing, has furnished a proverb to landsmen, is so well known a denizen of the deep, yet is he not popularly classed among whales.
  8. denizen
    a plant or animal naturalized in a region
    Though this fish, whose loud sonorous breathing, or rather blowing, has furnished a proverb to landsmen, is so well known a denizen of the deep, yet is he not popularly classed among whales.
  9. premonitory
    warning of future misfortune
    By some fishermen his approach is regarded as premonitory of the advance of the great Sperm Whale.
  10. cloister
    seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister
    From certain cloistered old authors I have gathered that this same sea-unicorn's horn was in ancient days regarded as the great antidote against poison, and as such, preparations of it brought immense prices.
  11. gallantly
    in a gallant manner
    Black Letter tells me that Sir Martin Frobisher on his return from that voyage, when Queen Bess did gallantly wave her jewelled hand to him from a window of Greenwich Palace, as his bold ship sailed down the Thames; when Sir Martin returned from that voyage, saith Black Letter, on bended knees he presented to her highness a prodigious long horn of the Narwhale, which for a long period after hung in the castle at Windsor.
  12. prodigious
    so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe
    Black Letter tells me that Sir Martin Frobisher on his return from that voyage, when Queen Bess did gallantly wave her jewelled hand to him from a window of Greenwich Palace, as his bold ship sailed down the Thames; when Sir Martin returned from that voyage, saith Black Letter, on bended knees he presented to her highness a prodigious long horn of the Narwhale, which for a long period after hung in the castle at Windsor.
  13. aver
    to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
    An Irish author avers that the Earl of Leicester, on bended knees, did likewise present to her highness another horn, pertaining to a land beast of the unicorn nature.
  14. discernible
    perceptible by the senses or intellect
    Indeed, his spout is so small that it is not very readily discernible.
  15. uncouth
    lacking refinement or cultivation or taste
    From Icelandic, Dutch, and old English authorities, there might be quoted other lists of uncertain whales, blessed with all manner of uncouth names.
  16. contemptible
    deserving of contempt or scorn
    But as these pig-fish are a nosy, contemptible set, mostly lurking in the mouths of rivers, and feeding on wet hay, and especially as they do not spout, I deny their credentials as whales; and have presented them with their passports to quit the kingdom of Cetology.
  17. incarnate
    make concrete and real
    That certain sultanism of his brain, which had otherwise in a good degree remained unmanifested; through those forms that same sultanism became incarnate in an irresistible dictatorship.
  18. plebeian
    one of the common people
    But when, as in the case of Nicholas the Czar, the ringed crown of geographical empire encircles an imperial brain; then, the plebeian herds crouch abased before the tremendous centralization.
  19. alms
    money or goods contributed to the poor
    And when reaching out his knife and fork, between which the slice of beef was locked, Ahab thereby motioned Starbuck's plate towards him, the mate received his meat as though receiving alms; and cut it tenderly; and a little started if, perchance, the knife grazed against the plate; and chewed it noiselessly; and swallowed it, not without circumspection.
  20. tantamount
    being essentially equal to something
    For Flask to have presumed to help himself, this must have seemed to him tantamount to larceny in the first degree.
  21. progeny
    the immediate descendants of a person
    He was naturally a very nervous, shuddering sort of little fellow, this bread-faced steward; the progeny of a bankrupt baker and a hospital nurse.
  22. abstemious
    marked by temperance in indulgence
    But for all this, the great negro was wonderfully abstemious, not to say dainty.
  23. convivial
    occupied with or fond of the pleasures of good company
    How could he forget that in his Island days, Queequeg, for one, must certainly have been guilty of some murderous, convivial indiscretions.
  24. inclement
    (of weather or climate) severe
    Concerning all this, it is much to be deplored that the mast-heads of a southern whale ship are unprovided with those enviable little tents or pulpits, called crow's-nests, in which the lookouts of a Greenland whaler are protected from the inclement weather of the frozen seas.
  25. expatiate
    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
    Now, as the business of standing mast-heads, ashore or afloat, is a very ancient and interesting one, let us in some measure expatiate here.
  26. upbraid
    express criticism towards
    Very often do the captains of such ships take those absent-minded young philosophers to task, upbraiding them with not feeling sufficient 'interest' in the voyage; half-hinting that they are so hopelessly lost to all honorable ambition, as that in their secret souls they would rather not see whales than otherwise.
  27. imprecation
    the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult)
    Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations he shouted out: 'Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the horn, and round the norway maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up.
  28. flagon
    a large metal or pottery vessel with a handle and spout; used to hold alcoholic beverages (usually wine)
    'Drink and pass!' he cried, handing the heavy charged flagon to the nearest seaman.
  29. malediction
    the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult)
    The long, barbed steel goblets were lifted; and to cries and maledictions against the white whale, the spirits were simultaneously quaffed down with a hiss.
  30. pugilist
    someone who fights with his fists for sport
    I laugh and hoot at ye, ye cricket-players, ye pugilists, ye deaf Burkes and blinded Bendigoes!