whis·​key | \ˈhwi-skē, ˈwi-\
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

While tipping back the Hibiki whiskey, Oyama-san—sober but loose enough to show vulnerability—talked about his divorce, and then Fukushima. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Slow Skiing in Japan's Deep North," 11 Oct. 2018 Blues Bourbon gets a classic R&B playlist, while the seasonal Snow Wheat whiskey is paired with Christmas carols. Brad Japhe, Billboard, "How Distilleries Use Hip-Hop, EDM and Reggae to Age Booze," 20 June 2018 Most of my friends are not predisposed to spilling their darkest secrets as soon as the whiskey has been poured. Devin Friedman, GQ, "Dads Don’t Have to Be Bad Friends," 13 June 2018 Inner Loop Cottonwood This casual-cool joint in Garden Oaks has an expansive outdoor area and industrial-chic décor with a bar that turns out serious cocktails (heavy on the whiskey) along with 40-odd beers on tap or cask. Jody Schmal & Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Where to tipple craft beer in Houston," 10 May 2018 The whiskeys initially will be available in Tennessee, Texas, California, Florida, New York, and Illinois. BostonGlobe.com, "EU warns Trump it won’t negotiate under trade tariffs threat," 3 May 2018 Launched in 2016, the whiskey — named for Ratner's Beverly Hills estate — was the product of a licensing and marketing services agreement between Diageo and Ratner, who owns the Hilhaven Lodge trademark. Victoria Kim, latimes.com, "Warner Bros. won't renew financing deal with Brett Ratner, cutting remaining ties with filmmaker," 11 Apr. 2018 The rum is infused with pineapple, the vodka with cucumber, the whiskey with fresh blackberries and so on. Courtney Dabney, star-telegram, "Piranha kills it with ramen, too, in an inviting, remodeled space in Arlington | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 Mar. 2018 The whiskey finishes in charred American white oak. AJC.com, "New whiskey gives taste of Atlanta distillery’s evolution," 14 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for whiskey

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whiskey

The first known use of whiskey was in 1715

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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-​ \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whiskey

Spanish Central: Translation of whiskey

Nglish: Translation of whiskey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whiskey

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