noun, plural vibrissae [vahy-bris-ee] .
one of the stiff, bristly hairs growing about the mouth of certain animals, as a whisker of a cat.
one of the long, slender, bristlelike feathers growing along the side of the mouth in many birds.

1685–95; < Medieval Latin, derivative of Latin vibrāre to shake

vibrissal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To vibrissa
World English Dictionary
vibrissa (vaɪˈbrɪsə)
n , pl -sae
1.  any of the bristle-like sensitive hairs on the face of many mammals; a whisker
2.  any of the specialized bristle-like feathers around the beak in certain insectivorous birds
[C17: from Latin, probably from vibrāre to shake]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

vibrissa vi·bris·sa (vī-brĭs'ə, və-)
n. pl. vi·bris·sae (-brĭs'ē)

  1. Any of the hairs growing at the anterior nares.

  2. Any of the long, stiff hairs projecting from the anterior nares of most mammals, as cat whiskers.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vibrissa   (vī-brĭs'ə, və-)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural vibrissae (vī-brĭs'ē, və-)
  1. Any of the long, stiff, bristlelike hairs that project from the snout or brow of most mammals, as the whiskers of a cat or rat. Vibrissae often serve as tactile organs, especially in nocturnal animals and marine mammals such as seals and manatees.

  2. Any of several long modified feathers that grow along the sides of the beak of certain birds and help trap insects caught in flight.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Each bump has a hair sticking out of it called a vibrissa.
The whiskers are called vibrissae, and each vibrissa moves independently.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature