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mustache

or moustache

[muhs-tash, muh-stash] /ˈmʌs tæʃ, məˈstæʃ/
noun
1.
the hair growing on the upper lip.
2.
such hair on men, allowed to grow without shaving, and often trimmed in any of various shapes.
3.
hairs or bristles growing near the mouth of an animal.
4.
a stripe of color, or elongated feathers, suggestive of a mustache on the side of the head of a bird.
5.
something resembling a mustache, as food or drink adhering to the upper lip:
a mustache of milk.
Origin of mustache
1575-1585
1575-85; < Middle French moustache < Italian mostaccio; see mustachio
Related forms
mustached, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for mustache
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He spat over the bows and sucked the nicotine from his mustache, thoughtfully.

  • The deputy tugged a minute at his mustache, searching his arid mind.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • The diplomat twirled his mustache and smiled, as only diplomats can.

    Spanish Highways and Byways Katharine Lee Bates
  • His mustache was shaved off, but I knowed him all ther same.

    The Camp in the Snow William Murray Graydon
  • Mr. John's mustache was by this time not enough for him, he began nibbling his nails as well.

    The Poor Plutocrats Maurus Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for mustache

mustache

/məˈstɑːʃ/
noun
1.
the US spelling of moustache
Derived Forms
mustached, adjective
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 mustache
n.

1580s, from French moustache (15c.), from Italian mostaccio, from Medieval Greek moustakion, diminutive of Doric mystax (genitive mystakos) "upper lip, mustache," related to mastax "jaws, mouth," literally "that with which one chews," from PIE root *mendh- "to chew" (see mandible).

Borrowed earlier (1550s) as mostacchi, from the Italian word or its Spanish derivative mostacho. The plural form of this, mustachios, lingers in English. Dutch slang has a useful noun, de befborstel, to refer to the mustache specifically as a tool for stimulating the clitoris; probably from beffen "to stimulate the clitoris with the tongue."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
17
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