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 company, which distills whiskey, vodka and gin, is also in discussions with the TEDC to relocate its distillery operations to Tomball. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Real estate transactions: Whitmeyer’s Distilling Co. takes space in downtown Tomball," 8 May 2020 Since a julep is essentially straight whiskey, making juleps with other options falls short in my mind. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Here's the one thing you're not hearing about MLB's plan to play games," 7 May 2020 At one shop in Delhi on Tuesday, hundreds of men converged to buy whiskey, pushing and shoving to get closer to the front, crumpled bills in their fingers, wild looks in their eyes. New York Times, "As India Loosens Its Strict Lockdown, Coronavirus Deaths Jump Sharply," 6 May 2020 Mayor Greg Fischer has long wanted a theme song for Louisville, Ky. Now the city has one, but the tune doesn’t mention bourbon whiskey, the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali or any other beacons of civic pride and tourism. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "To Combat Coronavirus Blues, Louisville Commissions an Uplifting Song," 28 Apr. 2020 Customers in these cities tend to gravitate toward beer, cider, hard seltzers, red wine, whiskey, and scotch, while those in New York order the most cocktails and combinations. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, "Get Wine, Beer, Liquor, and Snacks Delivered in Under an Hour With Saucey," 27 Apr. 2020 Beer and whiskey, on the other hand, were rated lower under the pandemic conditions. David Yanofsky, Quartz, "The Covid-19 pandemic has made canned foods, shelf-stable milk, and vodka seem better," 15 Apr. 2020 Red wine continues to be the top-selling product on Drizly, with Cabernet Sauvignon as the best-selling varietal, followed by white wine, vodka, bourbon, varying types of whiskey, hard seltzer, and tequila. Rachel King, Fortune, "How the on-demand liquor delivery business changed overnight during the coronavirus pandemic," 11 Apr. 2020 Use a Mild Whiskey, Preferably Irish Pour in 1 ½ ounces of whiskey. Southern Living, "How To Make Irish Coffee," 9 Apr. 2020

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

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whiskey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiskey. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for whiskey


How to pronounce Whiskey (audio)

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 whisky (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

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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