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[huhs-kee] /ˈhʌs ki/
adjective, huskier, huskiest.
big and strong; burly.
(of the voice) having a semiwhispered vocal tone; somewhat hoarse, as when speaking with a cold or from grief or passion.
like, covered with, or full of husks.
made in a size meant for the larger or heavier than average boy:
size 18 husky pants.
for, pertaining to, or wearing clothing in this size:
the husky department; husky boys.
noun, plural huskies.
a size of garments meant for the larger or heavier than average boy.
Origin of husky1
1545-55; husk + -y1
Related forms
huskily, adverb
huskiness, noun
1. robust, brawny, strapping. 2. harsh, gruff, rasping, throaty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for huskiness
Historical Examples
  • With his eyes still downcast, and in a voice harsh with huskiness, he spoke.

    Freckles Gene Stratton-Porter
  • Capt. Burton wiped his eyes, and cleared the huskiness from his voice.

    The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • A voice from beyond the summer-house, called forth instructions at intervals, with a huskiness vaguely suggestive of old Coney.

    Golden Stories Various
  • "I don't want to talk about it," he said, with a suspicion of huskiness in his throat.

    Love and the Ironmonger F. J. (Frederick John) Randall
  • To hide the huskiness in his own voice Mr. Traill relapsed into broad, burry Scotch.

    Greyfriars Bobby Eleanor Atkinson
  • There was a huskiness as of drink in his throat, and his steps were unsteady and doubtful.

    Strange Stories Grant Allen
  • It tends to produce a huskiness of the mouth, which calls for some liquid.

  • Her hands trembled on the gun and her voice shook into huskiness.

    A Pagan of the Hills Charles Neville Buck
  • "I'd have to hurt you—like this—every time you came," Ann said with a drop into huskiness.

    Nobody's Child Elizabeth Dejeans
  • When he did speak there was a trace of huskiness in his voice.

    Mrs. Red Pepper Grace S. Richmond
British Dictionary definitions for huskiness


adjective huskier, huskiest
(of a voice, an utterance, etc) slightly hoarse or rasping
of, like, or containing husks
(informal) big, strong, and well-built
Derived Forms
huskily, adverb
huskiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably from husk, from the toughness of a corn husk


noun (pl) huskies
a breed of Arctic sled dog with a thick dense coat, pricked ears, and a curled tail
(Canadian, slang)
  1. a member of the Inuit people
  2. the Inuit language
Word Origin
C19: probably based on Eskimo
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for huskiness



"hoarse," c.1722 in reference to a cattle disease (of persons, 1740), from husk on the notion of "dry as a husk." Earlier (1550s) "having husks." Sense of "tough and strong" (like corn husks) is first found 1869, American English. Related: Huskily; huskiness.


"Eskimo dog," 1852, Canadian English, earlier (1830) hoskey "an Eskimo," probably shortened variant of Ehuskemay (1743), itself a variant of Eskimo.

The moment any vessel is noticed steering for these islands [Whalefish Islands], the Esquimaux, or "Huskies,"* as the Danes customarily term them, come off in sufficient numbers to satisfy you that you are near the haunts of uncivilized men, and will afford sufficient information to guide any stranger to his anchorage. *"Husky" is their own term. I recollect the chorus to a song at Kamtchatka was "Husky, Husky." ["Last of the Arctic Voyages," London, 1855]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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