harpoon

(redirected from harpooner)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

harpoon

(härpo͞on`), weapon used for spearing whales and large fish. The early type was a flat triangular piece of metal with barbed edges and a socket for attaching a wooden handle, to the end of which a long rope was fastened. The modern weapon usually has only one barb or point, with a pivoted crosspiece to prevent its withdrawal. Harpoons are used to capture whales, which are then commonly killed by driving a lance into the vital parts. Harpoons may be thrown by hand or fired from guns. These guns are 4 to 5 ft (1.2 m–1.5 m) long, weigh about 75 lb (34 kg), and discharge a harpoon weighing about 100 lb (45.4 kg). Svend Foyn, a Norwegian, invented (c.1856) a harpoon with an explosive-filled tip that kills the whale. A later invention is a harpoon propelled by air pressure with a valve that opens as it strikes, thus admitting air to hasten the whale's death and keep it afloat.

Harpoon

 

a weapon used for hunting large marine animals (whales, walruses, and seals). Primitive, hand harpoons have been used since the end of the Paleolithic period. They consist of a shaft, a bone head, and a tip made of bone, stone, or metal, which is connected to the shaft with a strap. When an animal is hit, the tip separates from the shaft and remains in the animal’s body. The strap unwinds, and the floating shaft shows the hunter the direction of the animal.

Modern harpoons are metal arrows, consisting of a rod and a head with four opening claws. Screwed onto the head is a grenade, which explodes in the animal’s body. A harpoon is 1,530 mm long, and its weight, including the grenade, powder, and detonating fuze, is about 70 kg. When it is shot out of a harpoon gun, the harpoon carries a line with it, which is part of a cable of the whaling ship.

I. S. STUDENETSKAIA

harpoon

[här′pün]
(design engineering)
A barbed spear used to catch whales.

harpoon

a. a barbed missile attached to a long cord and hurled or fired from a gun when hunting whales, etc.
b. (as modifier): a harpoon gun
References in periodicals archive ?
The great whites hugged the ocean floor; in shallow waters, they would be close enough to the surface for the harpooners to tag them.
Most of Melville's Moby Dick, for instance, reveals Ishmael's deep and sincere love and admiration for the Polynesian harpooner.
Perhaps the most climatic scene of religious rebellion in the novel takes place when Ahab performs a mock baptism on the whale barb he intends to thrust into Moby Dick, tempering it in the blood of the pagan harpooners and raging, "Ego non baptizo te in nomine patris, sed in nomine diaboli
Moreover, in his initial impression of Queequeg, the narrator also defines the harpooner as "a wild cannibal" (Melville will use cannibalism in this text to model communication of the significance contained in and the knowledge generated by inves ted objects or trophies).
Leading the parade was the day's central figures; 36-year old harpooner Theron Parker and the Makah whaling crew aboard their 40-foot canoe, Hummingbird, towed behind a five-tonne army-surplus transport truck.
For this hunt, two 11-meter cedar canoes will be manned by a crew of eight whalers each and will include the traditional harpooner plus a rifleman.
Such speculation led Delmore Schwartz to leap up, playing a harpooner but shouting at his prey: "Gefilte fish
Outside of time, cleft between dark and light, with the salt-throb of the ocean in his blood, he was the ocean rider, helpless on land like the albatross, his wings uselessly trailing, a harpooner on the lookout for original roots and original sin, Leviathan of beginnings, hunting whales breathing in the sea with lungs like blood-surging forests, relegated to dark and depth but forced always to return to light and air.
This base is designed to fit snugly into the main shaft of the harpoon but can be released easily when the harpooner wishes to release it.
They are joined by Gillian Anderson ("The X Files") as Ahab's wife Elizabeth, Donald Sutherland ("MASH", Ordinary People) as Father Mapple, and Raoul Trujillo (Apocalypto) as the fear-inspiring harpooner Queequeg.
This logged the number of the passport, the date, catcher's name, harpooner's name, time the hunt (chase) began, whale species, position and time of the kill, approximate distance to the factory ship, behavior of the whale during the hunt, number of whales seen in the beginning and if possible the direction of their movements, the presence of plankton patches (shape, size, and color), presence of other animals (species and number of birds, seals), beginning time that the whale was under tow, time of delivery to the factory ship, and any additional comments from the captain or harpooner.
Every time they would try to get a shot we would block the harpoon and then the captain of the whaling vessel came down the catwalk and screamed into the ear of the harpooner, then looked at us, smiled, and brought his finger across his throat.