whis·​key | \ ˈhwi-skē How to pronounce whiskey (audio) , 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

King-Lu invites Cookie to his shack in the woods to share a bottle of whiskey, and the spontaneous domesticity of the scene instantly suggests the thin line separating friendship from love. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'First Cow': Film Review | Telluride 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 That night the victor enjoyed his winnings—a glass of whiskey—in the bar. The Economist, "A meeting of economists and central bankers was overshadowed by President Donald Trump," 29 Aug. 2019 Before joining Hangar One, head distiller Caley Shoemaker came from the world of whiskey and often heard people dismissing vodka as a boring spirit. Fortune, "Goodbye, Orange Creamsicle Vodka: Brands Like Absolut and Ketel One Want to Get In on the Wellness Movement," 24 Aug. 2019 The company has not said how many bottles of whiskey were lost, but reports estimate the company can make 150 to 210 standard-sized bottles per barrel. Olivia Rockeman, latimes.com, "Jim Beam warehouse fire ruins 40,000 barrels of bourbon," 3 July 2019 The company has not said how many bottles of whiskey were lost, but reports estimate the company can make between 150 and 210 standard-sized bottles per barrel. Olivia Rockeman / Bloomberg, Time, "40,000 Barrels of Bourbon Destroyed in Jim Beam Warehouse Fire," 3 July 2019 His late father spent the last years of his life advocating for the fire training school so about three weeks ago, Stankye brought a beer and a shot of whiskey to his dad’s grave to mark the moment. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Officials in the Valley dismayed by Gov. Ned Lamont’s reversal on fire training center," 25 June 2019 Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Legend has it that Adidas founder Adi Dassler purchased the brand’s iconic three-stripes trademark in 1951 for a sum equivalent to 1,600 euros and two bottles of whiskey. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "After Stunning Ruling, Adidas' Iconic Logo Could Lose Some Trademark Protection in EU," 20 June 2019 The venture makes Weaver is the first female and the first person of color to run a major whiskey or spirit brand. CBS News, ""Uncle Nearest" honors slave who taught Jack Daniel to make whiskey," 12 July 2019

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

Statistics for whiskey

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whiskey

The first known use of whiskey was in 1715

See more words from the same year

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on whiskey

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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