harpoon

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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 ?
With one swift swoop, the harpooner affixed the tag.
But Ahab seems to go even further than Faust, who had signed a compact with Mephistopheles selling his soul in exchange for divine, superhuman power: Ahab does not know God or the devil directly, he only has a glimpse of Elijah's fire divinity, and so through his quest he becomes a devil of sorts, "the devil himself" (Stanford 1991: 37), or the messenger of the fire God who seems to have communed with him through the thunder (in the Cape Horn episode): this transformation seems to be marked off by the pagan ritual Ahab undertakes, in front of the horrifyingly bewitched crew, of consecrating his harpoon with the blood of his three pagan harpooners and with fire:
Sometimes the conflict is man against man, such as when, aboard the schooner to Nantucket, the heathen harpooner Queequeg puts the country bumpkin in his place.
For instance, it is instructive to envision the Pequod as a floating factory with Bildad and Peleg as joint CEOs, Ahab as the manager, the mates as foremen, the harpooners as highly-skilled labor, and the rest of the crew as variously skilled and unskilled labor.
The harpooners, led by Japan, Iceland and Norway, who continue their tradition of whaling, have however secured support from a growing number of African and Caribbean countries, permitting them to approach the majority required to avert the creation of new sanctuaries.
She also gets to do a young slave girl, harpooners, and a weird old woman on Nantucket who sells sexual aids to women whose husbands are away at sea.
As Pease says, James superbly discusses the displaced and occluded knowledge of the Pequod's harpooners, the "unnarrated memory of the harpooners' pasts" which James invoked via his own "recollection of the histories of colonial exploitation, Indian removal, and the African slave trade that Melville's fear had disallowed" being present in the text (p.
Like all harpooners, Peters sometimes misses his mark.
As Ahab anoints the barb of his harpoon with the blood of his pagan harpooners, he mocks the Christian baptismal formula.
John de Crevecoeur, a Frenchman visiting the Vineyard sometime around 1780, wrote that Wampanoags made the best harpooners and steersman.
Ahab maintains firm control of his ship's hierarchy, reaching from the bottom, the lowly crew, to the savage harpooners, to the third, second, and first mates, to Ahab himself at the top.
Although Ishmael does not understand how the system works, he recognizes it exists, describing Que equeg and the other pagan harpooners, Stubb, Ahab, the Whales, the Pequod, and Moby Dick as connected to a "universal cannibalism of the sea" (235).