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 Officers allegedly found a water bottle filled with Fireball cinnamon whiskey and said Avery refused a sobriety test, according to a report. Cristóbal Reyes, orlandosentinel.com, "St. Cloud employee drove drunk, crashed into other vehicles, police say," 1 May 2021 The Mint Julep, to lift a line from Jeffey Morganthaler, is not a Mojito with whiskey. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, "How to Make a Georgia Julep, a Peach-Infused Variation on the Kentucky Derby’s Favorite Drink," 29 Apr. 2021 Texas doesn’t have the same distilling history and legacy as Kentucky and Tennessee, two states that are synonymous with American whiskey. Kevin Gray, Dallas News, "What is bottled-in-bond? TX Whiskey debuts state’s first bourbon that meets strict standard," 13 Apr. 2021 A half whiskey barrel or wine barrel is big enough for two tomatoes or three peppers, or three eggplant plants, or three basil plants. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "In April, home gardeners, native plants are putting on a show," 3 Apr. 2021 On opening day there will be food and drink specials including $2 hot dogs and $3 PBR and $3 vodka, whiskey and tequila shots. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Anchor Bar to reopen with a revamped menu, plans for Tigers' opening day," 22 Mar. 2021 Inside, artwork of bootleggers hangs on hundred-year-old brick walls, and whiskey-barrel tables await guests. Kim Hyatt, Star Tribune, "Republican legislator opened speakeasy days before shutdown," 10 Dec. 2020 Today, smokies are hung on sticks in pairs above a hardwood fire of beech and oak in the base of a whiskey barrel that gives them their unique flavor. Lilly Graves, Travel + Leisure, "5 Amazing Food Trails Around the World That Serve Local Eats and Stunning Scenery," 17 Oct. 2020 Rye whiskey had a low profile for most of the last century. Margaret Menge, Washington Examiner, "Indiana looks to make a name for itself with 'Indiana Rye Whiskey'," 3 Mar. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for whiskey

Time Traveler

The first known use of whiskey was in 1715

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Statistics for whiskey

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whiskey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiskey. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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

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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

Comments on whiskey

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