whis·​key | \ ˈ(h)wi-skē How to pronounce whiskey (audio) \
variants: or whisky
plural whiskeys or whiskies

Definition of whiskey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a liquor distilled from fermented wort (such as that obtained from rye, corn, or barley mash)
2 : a drink of whiskey


communications code word

Definition of Whiskey (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a code word for the letter w

Examples of whiskey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The male was in possession of open containers of whiskey and vodka. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 10 July 2021 Tobacco, whiskey and greeting card trade groups were also boosters. Gillian Brockell, Anchorage Daily News, 20 June 2021 Check out this week’s list of can’t-miss events, including a whiskey-and-cigar festival, cocktail cruise, porch-front music festival, Chicago’s first all-vegan farmers market and more. Adam Lukach, chicagotribune.com, 4 June 2021 The transfer of a permit to sell liquor such as vodka, whiskey and rum at the Costco at 16901 Chenal Parkway was denied by Doralee Chandler, the director of the Alcohol Beverage Control Division, after Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, objected. Noel Oman, Arkansas Online, 28 May 2021 Luke Combs, Eric Church and Luke Bryan keep dominating the radio with affable odes to love, heartbreak, whiskey and small towns. Andrew R. Chow, Time, 6 May 2021 Few things can cap off a long day like a smooth glass of whiskey on the rocks. Jon Winkler, USA TODAY, 15 June 2021 Our distinct, rich, and brazen American Single Malt — the pinnacle of whiskey. Emily Price, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Method: Combine whiskey, gin, blackberries, and chopped ginger in a mason jar and let macerate overnight. Karla Alindahao, Forbes, 28 June 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of whiskey


1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for whiskey


Irish uisce beatha & Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha, literally, water of life

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About whiskey

Time Traveler for whiskey

Time Traveler

The first known use of whiskey was in 1715

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near whiskey

whisker pole



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for whiskey

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whiskey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiskey. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whiskey



English Language Learners Definition of whiskey

: a strong alcoholic drink made from a grain (such as rye, corn, or barley)


variants: or whisky \ ˈhwi-​skē , ˈwi-​ \
plural whiskeys or whiskies

Kids Definition of whiskey

: a strong alcoholic drink usually made from grain (as of rye or barley)


variants: or whisky \ ˈhwis-​kē, ˈwis-​ How to pronounce whiskey (audio) \
plural whiskeys or whiskies

Medical Definition of whiskey

: a liquor that is distilled from the fermented mash of grain (as rye, corn, or barley) and was formerly used medicinally as a sedative and vasodilator

More from Merriam-Webster on whiskey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whiskey

Nglish: Translation of whiskey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whiskey


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!