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 sprawling campus is where most of High West’s award-wining whiskey is made. Julia Heffelfinger, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Breweries and Distilleries Taking Over America's Après-Ski Scene," 11 Feb. 2021 Or else they get teased, such as Scituate resident Tom Hall, who slipped up with a shot of whiskey during a small gathering in his barn, celebrating a pal’s promotion. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Dry January is over. Or is it?," 9 Feb. 2021 It’s 2 ounces of American whiskey, an ounce of sweet vermouth and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters, stirred with ice, strained into a cocktail glass and garnished with a cherry. Eric Felten, WSJ, "Cocktail Books: Here’s to Simple Pleasures," 24 Dec. 2020 Whiskey & Soda will seat 60 (reduced to 30 during COVID-19 restrictions) and its focus is, obviously, whiskey. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "Downtown Minneapolis getting a new rooftop dining destination with Rand Tower Hotel," 16 Nov. 2020 There was a peanut butter whiskey that took the industry by storm. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Allis deli owner takes peanut butter and jelly to a 'higher form'," 23 Oct. 2020 North Shore Distillery makes three styles of vodka, five styles of gin, two styles of aged rum, two styles of aged whiskey and a traditional Scandinavian spirit made from caraway seed. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, "North Shore Distillery open for fall cocktail flights, tours," 16 Sep. 2020 Buffalo Trace Distillery has been defined by a dedication to one craft: making fine bourbon whiskey. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Thirsty? These 20+ bourbon distilleries are offering socially-distanced tours in Kentucky," 24 May 2019 These classes give you 10 hours of instruction on the essentials of cocktails, with courses on whiskey, gin, vodka, wine and more. Popular Science, "21 for ’21: Deals on classes that can give you new knowledge in the new year," 1 Jan. 2021

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

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whiskey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiskey. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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