"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[muhs-tash, muh-stash] /ˈmʌs tæʃ, məˈstæʃ/
the hair growing on the upper lip.
such hair on men, allowed to grow without shaving, and often trimmed in any of various shapes.
hairs or bristles growing near the mouth of an animal.
a stripe of color, or elongated feathers, suggestive of a mustache on the side of the head of a bird.
something resembling a mustache, as food or drink adhering to the upper lip:
a mustache of milk.
Also, moustache.
Origin of mustache
1575-85; < Middle French moustache < Italian mostaccio; see mustachio
Related forms
mustached, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mustache
  • Foreigners' residency permits require information about the shape of one's nose and the style of one's mustache.
  • You've got your spats on, your mustache is all waxed and ready.
  • His brown eyes and the large wart over his mustache seemed to have shrunk.
  • Unless, perhaps, you have allergies and your mustache is trapping pollen.
  • She has a mustache and several moles on her upper lip.
  • Brash and blunt with a cleft chin and a bushy mustache, he projects a gruff, old-fashioned avuncularity.
  • From his portrait, he had a high forehead and a curiously dashing little mustache.
  • He grew a mustache and developed thick skin from the reaction to it.
  • Foote had long strawberry-blond hair, which he combed straight back, and a bushy blond mustache.
  • The bartender, a sallow giant with a mustache, plays chess between serving espressos and sugar-sweetened snacks.
British Dictionary definitions for mustache


the unshaved growth of hair on the upper lip, and sometimes down the sides of the mouth
a similar growth of hair or bristles (in animals) or feathers (in birds)
a mark like a moustache
Derived Forms
moustached, (US) mustached, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via French from Italian mostaccio, ultimately from Doric Greek mustax upper lip


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

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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