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 Equally disgusted by and worried about his father, who has crawled into a bottle of whiskey and can’t find his way out, Charlie lets his grades slip and takes any excuse to get away from home. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Sweet Sorrow: A Fond Look at First Love," 10 Sep. 2020 Century Grand housed three concepts: a whiskey tasting room called the Grey Hen, a restaurant called Century Grand and a bar inside a train car called Platform 18. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, "This famous Phoenix tiki bar is moving. Here's everything you need to know," 9 Sep. 2020 The Pepper family brand of whiskey is an iconic Kentucky brand initially produced during the American Revolution and continued through 1958. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Thirsty? These 20+ bourbon distilleries are offering socially-distanced tours in Kentucky," 24 May 2019 The evening of Whelan’s arrest, at the Metropol, Yatsenko arrived with a bottle of whiskey. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "The American Prisoner in Russia Trapped Between Putin and Trump," 4 Sep. 2020 The most varieties of whiskey commercially available — 2,467 — was achieved by The Whiskey House at 420 Third Ave., during its fourth anniversary celebration on Jan. 15, 2019. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Carlsbad woman, 93, sets a Guinness record," 2 Sep. 2020 Pernod Ricard, which distills Jameson whiskey and Absolut vodka as well as its namesake French aperitif brands, on Wednesday reported a 12% decline in recurring profits for its financial year through June 30. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Pernod Ricard Needs a Return to More Convivial Times," 2 Sep. 2020 Keeley and Getchel plan to produce brandy and whiskey at their distillery. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, "New distillery seeks TIF grant from Clarendon Hills to help cover construction costs," 31 Aug. 2020 The group of four returned to the woman’s home around 4 a.m. after stopping at a liquor store for a bottle of whiskey. Fox News, "Florida woman shoots, kills man trying to break into her home," 23 Aug. 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

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whiskey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiskey. Accessed 30 Sep. 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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