9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hwisk, wisk] /ʰwɪsk, wɪsk/
verb (used with object)
to move with a rapid, sweeping stroke:
She whisked everything off the table with her arm.
to sweep (dust, crumbs, etc., or a surface) with a whisk broom, brush, or the like.
to draw, snatch, carry, etc., lightly and rapidly:
He whisked the money into his pocket.
to whip (eggs, cream, etc.) to a froth with a whisk or beating instrument.
verb (used without object)
to sweep, pass, or go lightly and rapidly.
an act of whisking.
a rapid, sweeping stroke; light, rapid movement.
a small bunch of grass, straw, hair, or the like, especially for use in brushing.
an implement, usually a bunch of wire loops held together in a handle, for beating or whipping eggs, cream, etc.
Origin of whisk
1325-75; (noun) Middle English (Scots) wysk rapid sweeping movement; (v.) earlier Scots wisk, quhisk < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse, Norwegian visk wisp, Swedish viska besom, wisp, to whisk (off), Danish viske to wipe (compare Old High German wisken to wipe, wisc wisp of hay); for development of wh cf. whip
Related forms
unwhisked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for whisk
  • Quickly add some grits to the egg and cream, beating well with a wire whisk so that the egg doesn't curdle.
  • In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk and whisk together.
  • The birch whisk seemed to do nothing except get leaves stuck to my back.
  • The curtain is actually made of a lightweight fabric that enables the stage director to whisk the whole thing aside in a flash.
  • Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk or fork until lemon-yellow and foamy.
  • When chilled, whisk to smooth out and flavor with one teaspoon dark rum.
  • whisk together the dry ingredients at home and then add the wet ingredients and sliced bananas at camp.
  • Then you add the milk, and whisk until the sauce thickens.
  • whisk the egg and milk together for a couple of minutes.
British Dictionary definitions for whisk


(transitive; often foll by away or off) to brush, sweep, or wipe off lightly
(transitive) to move, carry, etc, with a light or rapid sweeping motion: the taxi whisked us to the airport
(intransitive) to move, go, etc, quickly and nimbly: to whisk downstairs for a drink
(transitive) to whip (eggs, cream, etc) to a froth
the act of whisking
a light rapid sweeping movement or stroke
a utensil, often incorporating a coil of wires, for whipping eggs, etc
a small brush or broom
a small bunch or bundle, as of grass, straw, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse visk wisp; related to Middle Dutch wisch, Old High German wisc
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 whisk

late 14c., "quick stroke, sweeping movement," probably from Old Norse visk "wisp," from Proto-Germanic *wisk- "move quickly" (cf. Middle Dutch wisch, Dutch wis, Old High German wisc, German wisch "wisp, brush"), from PIE root *weis- "to turn, twist" (cf. Sanskrit veskah "noose," Czech vechet "a wisp of straw"). Meaning "implement for beating eggs, etc." first recorded 1570s.


late 15c., from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish viske, Norwegian, Swedish viska) related to Old English wiscian "to plait," weoxian "to clean" (with a whisk or brush), granwisc "awn" (see whisk (n.)). Related: Whisked; whisking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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