whis·​ker ˈ(h)wi-skər How to pronounce whisker (audio)
: a hair of the beard
b whiskers plural
archaic : mustache
: the part of the beard growing on the sides of the face or on the chin
: hairbreadth
lost the race by a whisker
: one of the long projecting hairs or bristles growing near the mouth of an animal (such as a cat or bird)
: an outrigger extending on each side of the bowsprit to spread the jib and flying jib guys
usually used in plural
: a shred or filament resembling a whisker
: a thin hairlike crystal (as of sapphire or copper) of exceptional mechanical strength used especially to reinforce composite structural material
whiskered adjective
whiskery adjective

Examples of whisker in a Sentence

He won the race by a whisker.
Recent Examples on the Web The Hitch star, in a simple black t-shirt, is sporting a cat nose and whiskers drawn on her face. Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 Since this pup's whiskers are so detailed, most of this design is made by scraping the outer orange shell rather than carving. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Sep. 2023 The whiskers or fur must be humanely harvested, meaning they are naturally shed from your cat, before sending them to the designer for inclusion in a custom jewelry piece. Yolanda Wikiel, wsj.com, 17 Oct. 2023 Casts were made because preserved remains of whiskers or soft tissues of early pinnipeds are unknown. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 23 Aug. 2023 Then go in with a detail brush to paint ears, whiskers, and eyes. Ariana Yaptangco, ELLE, 30 Aug. 2023 Some earlier studies suggest that this region is involved in processing signals from seal whiskers. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 17 Aug. 2023 To create intricate patterns such as the spider web, decorators use two other tools: a brush with bristles made of cat whiskers or boar hair, and a twig with a metal pin on one end. Chantel Tattoli Marko Risovic, New York Times, 30 May 2023 Fascination with Ward’s physical features led one fan to observe that his circle of chin whiskers could be seen only at close quarters. R.j.m. Blackett, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whisker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


singular of whiskers mustache, from whisk entry 2

First Known Use

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of whisker was circa 1600

Dictionary Entries Near whisker

Cite this Entry

“Whisker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whisker. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


whis·​ker ˈhwis-kər How to pronounce whisker (audio)
: a hair of the beard
plural : the part of the beard growing on the sides of the face or on the chin
: one of the long hairs or bristles growing near the mouth of an animal (as a cat or mouse)
whiskered adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on whisker

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