(Latin) phoca a seal.
(Zoölogy) Of or pertaining to the seal tribe; phocal.
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From New Latin Phoca (genus name) (Classical Latin phōca (“seal”), from Ancient Greek ϕώκη (ϕōkē)) + -ine.
phocine (plural phocines) (zoology) A member of the subfamily Phocinae, comprising the "true" or "earless" seals. 2007, Brian Keith Hall, Fins into Limbs, p. 313: Phocines anchor their hands by flexing their fingers, digging them into the substrate, and then pulling their body forward by elbow and shoulder flexion.
Adjective phocine (comparative more phocine, superlative most phocine) Pertaining to a seal (or other members of the subfamily Phocinae; seallike. 1871, New York Daily Standard, 28 Dec 1871: He telegraphed to the whaling ports of New England, and sent messages to San Francisco and Alaska, to know if a group of sea lions and other specimens of the phocine tribe could be secured. 1955, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: she had already yanked out of me the coveted section and retreated to her mat near her phocine mamma. 1987, William Boyd, The New Confessions: She walked over towards me with an odd elegance, big strides, like a champion girl swimmer, say; muscled but lean, with a phocine grace.
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