whis·​ker | \ˈhwi-skər, ˈwi-\

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 \ˈhwi-​skərd, ˈwi-​ \ adjective
whiskery \ˈhwi-​sk(ə-​)rē, ˈwi-​ \ adjective

Examples of whisker in a Sentence

He won the race by a whisker.

Recent Examples on the Web

Spray-tanned Icelandic glamazons grip a hot dog in one hand and hail a taxi back to their native suburbs with the other as sad-sack old-timers, wiping sauce from their whiskers, chat them up. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 Chin hair For frustrating little whiskers on your chin or cheeks, Moinuddin recommends permanent hair removal with lasers. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "Facial Hair Removal Guide: How to Remove Every Unwanted Hair From Your Face," 10 Oct. 2018 The whiskers had begun as a few strands on her chin. Julia Michie Bruckner, Discover Magazine, "Low Note," 28 Sep. 2018 Bring inspirational references—like a pet photo, so the artist can capture every last whisker. Nicole Berrie, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Gorgeous European Souvenirs Are Made Just For You," 28 Sep. 2018 Catfish are bottom feeders, often eating dead fish, and the artful stink bait maker’s goal is to create a scent that will attract the whisker fish in the dark summer waters. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "The cats come out at night," 23 June 2018 Lake sturgeon have five rows of bony plates along the body, a relatively long snout with four whisker-looking barbels and a shark-like tail. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Polishing a gem: Plan aims for St. Clair-Detroit River system improvements," 10 July 2018 Wealthy Chinese businessmen in particular prize the fish — with its large glimmering scales, sage-like whiskers and aggressive personality — for its resemblance to the mythical Chinese dragon. Amy Qin, New York Times, "Cosmetic Surgery for a Pet Fish? In Asia, This One Is King of the Tank," 27 Mar. 2018 The setae on crustaceans often act like whiskers, helping the animals detect and react to changes in their environment. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Introducing a Hairy-Footed Shrimp Named After Bilbo Baggins," 13 June 2018

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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Statistics for whisker

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whisker

The first known use of whisker was circa 1600

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More Definitions for whisker



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

: a very small distance or amount


whis·​ker | \ˈhwi-skər, 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

Comments on whisker

What made you want to look up whisker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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