whis·​ker | \ ˈ(h)wi-skər How to pronounce whisker (audio) \

Definition of whisker

1a : a hair of the beard
b whiskers plural
(1) archaic : mustache
(2) : the part of the beard growing on the sides of the face or on the chin
c : hairbreadth lost the race by a whisker
2 : one of the long projecting hairs or bristles growing near the mouth of an animal (such as a cat or bird)
3 : an outrigger extending on each side of the bowsprit to spread the jib and flying jib guys usually used in plural
4a : a shred or filament resembling a whisker
b : a thin hairlike crystal (as of sapphire or copper) of exceptional mechanical strength used especially to reinforce composite structural material

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Other Words from whisker

whiskered \ ˈ(h)wi-​skərd How to pronounce whiskered (audio) \ adjective
whiskery \ ˈ(h)wi-​sk(ə-​)rē How to pronounce whiskery (audio) \ adjective

Examples of whisker in a Sentence

He won the race by a whisker.
Recent Examples on the Web All-Big Ten performer and had the Boilermakers within a whisker of their first Final Four since 1980. Matthew Glenesk, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana By The Numbers: Who wore it best? No. 3," 15 June 2020 Rats hug structural edges (‘feeling’ the walls with whiskers), and their routes are marked by sebum, oil from their hair that rubs off and darkens the concrete landscape. Rebecca Liebson, New York Times, "Anxiety in New York Over Coronavirus Spread," 6 Mar. 2020 Included in La Liga's Team of the Season 2018/19, Djene Dakonam was a key member of Pepe Bordalas' Getafe side that shocked Spain to come with a whisker of qualification for the Champions League. SI.com, "Best XI of Players Outside of La Liga's Big Three of Atletico, Barcelona & Real Madrid," 22 Oct. 2019 For example, the neural network can be trained to recognize cats in photos by identifying characteristics shared by all cats, such as whiskers and four legs. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Artificial intelligence could predict El Niño up to 18 months in advance," 18 Sep. 2019 The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs these institutions, paired its Instagram announcement with the image of a somber sea lion who appeared to be frowning under its whiskers. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "The Bronx Zoo Is Also Empty, but the Animals Don’t Mind," 3 Apr. 2020 Despite two unexpected developments in 2020—Iran tensions and the new respiratory virus—U.S. equities remain within a whisker of their all-time highs. Josh Petri, Bloomberg.com, "Your Evening Briefing," 29 Apr. 2020 The stock market has had one of its most tumultuous months on record, with the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq all soaring to new highs in mid-February only to crash to within a whisker of bear territory on Monday. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "How high-frequency algorithmic trading programs can make bad stock market days even worse," 10 Mar. 2020 The Hinsdale Parks and Recreation Department turned the lawn in front of Hinsdale Middle School into a pumpkin patch, with 500 pumpkins for children to take home or decorate there with stick-on eyes, eyebrows, teeth and whiskers. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale Fall Fest draws an evil Elf on the Shelf and Mike Ditka and Monsters Inc. costumes," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whisker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of whisker

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for whisker

singular of whiskers mustache, from whisk entry 2

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Time Traveler for whisker

Time Traveler

The first known use of whisker was circa 1600

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Statistics for whisker

Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whisker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whisker. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for whisker


How to pronounce whisker (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whisker

: a hair that grows on a man's face
: any one of the long, stiff hairs that grow near the mouth of some animals
informal : a very small distance or amount


whis·​ker | \ ˈhwi-skər How to pronounce whisker (audio) , ˈwi- \

Kids Definition of whisker

1 whiskers plural : the part of the beard that grows on the sides of the face and on the chin
2 : one hair of the beard
3 : a long bristle or hair growing near the mouth of an animal (as a cat)

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More from Merriam-Webster on whisker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whisker

Spanish Central: Translation of whisker

Nglish: Translation of whisker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whisker for Arabic Speakers

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