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whisker

[hwis-ker, wis-] /ˈʰwɪs kər, ˈwɪs-/
noun
1.
whiskers, a beard.
2.
Usually, whiskers. side whiskers.
3.
a single hair of the beard.
4.
Archaic. a mustache.
5.
one of the long, stiff, bristly hairs growing about the mouth of certain animals, as the cat or rat; vibrissa.
6.
Also called whisker boom, whisker pole. Nautical. any spar for extending the clew or clews of a sail so that it can catch more wind.
7.
Radio, Electronics. cat whisker.
8.
Crystallography. a thin filament of a crystal, usually several millimeters long and one to two microns in diameter, having unusually great strength.
Idioms
9.
by a whisker, by the narrowest margin:
She won the race by a whisker.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English; see whisk, -er1
Related forms
whiskery, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for whiskers
  • After exploring an environment such as a maze, rats typically pause to eat, groom or rub their whiskers.
  • We would come home to find the sugar bowl half licked out and sugar crystals stuck all over his whiskers.
  • Eyes close and squint, nose bulges, cheeks bulge and mice also pull back their little round ears and move their whiskers.
  • But at the door, she stumbled backwards against a good-looking officer with a fresh, open face and splendid thick fair whiskers.
  • He had long, dark bangs and a suggestion of whiskers on his upper lip.
  • They inhabit the bristles of our toothbrushes, the bristles of our whiskers, and the bristles of our other areas.
  • He implanted rats with electrodes in the part of the brain that receives input from the animals' long whiskers.
  • At the same time, sensory signals from its whiskers and nose burst out in synchrony.
  • Ah, even now it takes the droop out of my whiskers to reminisce about it.
  • Letterman shaved off his strike whiskers on the show.
British Dictionary definitions for whiskers

whisker

/ˈwɪskə/
noun
1.
any of the stiff sensory hairs growing on the face of a cat, rat, or other mammal Technical name vibrissa
2.
any of the hairs growing on a person's face, esp on the cheeks or chin
3.
(pl) a beard or that part of it growing on the sides of the face
4.
(pl) (informal) a moustache
5.
Also called whisker boom, whisker pole. any light spar used for extending the clews of a sail, esp in light airs
6.
(chem) a very fine filamentary crystal having greater strength than the bulk material since it is a single crystal. Such crystals often show unusual electrical properties
7.
a person or thing that whisks
8.
a narrow margin; a small distance: he escaped death by a whisker
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 whiskers

whisker

n.

"hair of a man's face" (usually plural), c.1600, originally a playful formation, from Middle English wisker "anything that whisks or sweeps" (early 15c.); see whisk (v.). In reference to animal lip hair, recorded from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for whiskers

whiskers

Related Terms

bet your boots, the cat's meow


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with whiskers
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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