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 In the season finale, Mark and Digger figure out a way to age their Tennessee whiskey at sea, and Tim gets drawn into a bootleg. Washington Post, "What to watch on Tuesday: ‘Chad’ on TBS," 6 Apr. 2021 Legend has it that the essential American failed in his first bid for public office for want of whiskey. Eric Felten, Washington Examiner, "I'll vote to that!," 1 Apr. 2021 Sour, but not too tart, for a balanced citrus flavor your whiskey will appreciate. Emily Price, Forbes, "PepsiCo Is Launching Its Own Line Of Cocktail Mixers," 28 Feb. 2021 The men would be out there at 5 a.m. on Christmas Eve with their whiskey to keep warm and water jugs filled with mojo. Los Angeles Times, "Latinx Files: Our best Nochebuena stories," 24 Dec. 2020 Throw in a bottle of their favorite whiskey for extra cheer and possibly a free Manhattan. Kate Bratskeir, CNN Underscored, "30 gift ideas for your favorite home cook and foodie," 17 Dec. 2020 And then there will be other times where you're caught off guard by a joke, a fun Baranski moment or a disarmingly cute scene, like one with Regina and a child (Selah Kimbro Jones) serving her whiskey at a bar. Lindsey Bahr, Star Tribune, "Review: Dolly Parton brings her holiday spirit to Netflix," 20 Nov. 2020 When George Garvin Brown first sealed his Old Forester whiskey 150 years ago, it was sold exclusively in a glass bottle. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "This iconic bourbon is celebrating its 150th anniversary with 3 limited-edition releases," 22 Sep. 2020 It could also be used to distill alcohol, like whiskey—if that were legal. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The 30 Best Gifts for Dad This Father’s Day," 10 June 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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whiskey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiskey. Accessed 13 Apr. 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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