Definition of cat's whisker in US English:

cat's whisker


  • A fine adjustable wire in a crystal radio receiver.

    • ‘For entertainment at home we sang around the piano or from 1925 we listened to our wireless - the cat's whiskers kind of early radio.’
    • ‘It took two burly labourers to manhandle the huge walnut and Bakelite tuner onto the Lilo, but within hours the valves had warmed up, and the cat's whisker proved remarkably sensitive.’
    • ‘It is made from a coil of wire, a cardboard roll, has an aerial, a crystal (germanium diode), an earplug and a piece of wire called a cat's whisker.’