Definition of whisker in English:

whisker

noun

  • 1A long projecting hair or bristle growing from the face or snout of many mammals.

    • ‘They are able to sense very minute vibrations in the ground, and feel their way through total darkness with their paws and whiskers.’
    • ‘The cat obediently came and sat at her feet, his whiskers brushing her throat.’
    • ‘I'm an extremely light sleeper, and once woken - even by the faint brush of our kitten's whiskers on my arm - I stay that way.’
    • ‘Long-tailed weasels have a small, narrow head with long whiskers.’
    • ‘Eyeballs, whiskers, blood and even tiger nose are among the parts used for their perceived curative properties.’
    • ‘The bearded pig is distinguished by its elongated head, narrow body, and abundant chin whiskers.’
    • ‘The entire area under the tree was soaked and the dog was muddy from the whiskers on his cheeks to the bottom of his short tail.’
    • ‘He thinks the seals may detect prey by means of their whiskers, detecting the ‘wake’ of fish as they pass by.’
    • ‘Both the bobcat and lynx have sideburn cheek whiskers and beards.’
    • ‘Every once in a while, particularly when I take out clothes that I haven't worn since our move, I find a cat whisker or a dog hair.’
    • ‘Nocturnal animals, binturongs do most of their hunting at night, using their long whiskers as ‘tools’ for sensing food.’
    • ‘Traders sell tiger products such as skin, teeth, claws and whiskers, mostly as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines.’
    • ‘Smooth-coated otters are agile in the water and on land and use their sensitive whiskers to detect water disturbances.’
    • ‘Discovered in Laos, Southeast Asia, the animal is described as an ‘oddball rodent’ with long whiskers, stubby legs, and a furry tail.’
    • ‘It has a nose like a dog's, teeth like a leopard's, and whiskers like an otter's.’
    • ‘Looking into her eyes and reaching up a bit nervously, I take my hand and rub the backs of my fingers through the soft downy fur of her cheek, avoiding her whiskers which might be sensitive, and the blood on her muzzle.’
    • ‘Padded feet, keen night vision and sensitive whiskers enable silent movement through dense undergrowth at night.’
    • ‘Finally, the cat sat in the middle of the street washing himself, lifting first one paw and then the other to clean his ears and whiskers.’
    • ‘Tiger whiskers, eyes, brains, tails, and bones, in particular, are used in traditional remedies believed to cure ailments ranging from toothache to epilepsy.’
    • ‘Another notable mode of sensation in cats are whiskers, or vibrissae.’
    hair, whisker
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1whiskers The hair growing on a man's face, especially on his cheeks.
      • ‘His red eyebrows and sandy whiskers suggest a Scot or Irish background, which carries some particular negative associations for a 19th-century audience.’
      • ‘The examiner was a Dr Bull, an elderly anatomy lecturer of rather Victorian appearance, with mutton-chop whiskers and beetling eyebrows.’
      • ‘Mr. Gershwin, a rather catlike man with an intelligent face and bristly whiskers, began.’
      • ‘He was a stout older Scot by the name of Ian, with whiskers of a beard, and a rough voice, but had a kind heart.’
      • ‘The Emperor Franz Josef favoured equally luxuriant mutton-chop whiskers - effectively a beard, with the chin shaven.’
      • ‘If we closed our eyes, we could almost see men with mutton-chop whiskers and stem expressions, and women with cinched waists and skirts with floor-sweeping trains.’
      • ‘His uniform - the one he'd always worn - was green with age and his whiskers were grey and bristly.’
      • ‘Abraham Lincoln grew his whiskers in the months between his election and inauguration, making full beards ubiquitous during the Civil War that dominated his presidency.’
      • ‘Since the mustache part of General Burnside's invention was nothing new, the cheek whiskers became known as ‘Burnsides’ and enjoyed a certain vogue among men of the day.’
      • ‘A wiry old man appeared, a bit shorter than average height, sporting a button-collar and sleeves over small pot-belly and mutton-chop whiskers from the decades past.’
      • ‘While Peter's normal hairstyle wasn't changed in any way, he was given whiskers and a moustache.’
      • ‘He wore a checkered cloak over a sweater or two and heavy trousers, sported a full dark moustache and whiskers, he seemed a pensive type, sallow-faced and quiet.’
      • ‘Thick, bristly, black whiskers that covered the lower half of his face told the two shipmates that he hadn't shaved in a long while.’
      facial hair, whiskers, stubble, designer stubble, five o'clock shadow, bristles
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A single crystal of a material in the form of a filament with no dislocations.
      • ‘Chlamydomonas strains were transformed according to the silicon carbide whisker method of DUNAHAY 1993, with the following modifications.’
      • ‘However, these materials were still too weak to support their own weight without tapering, although in the case of graphite whiskers the taper ratio was a more manageable 100.’
      • ‘The particles may be carbon fibers, carbon black, carbon whiskers, coated hollow microspheres, or a combination thereof.’
  • 2a whiskerinformal A very small amount.

    ‘they won the election by a whisker’
    • ‘All parties cancelled their final rallies, and the next day the Blue camp, which had started with a comfortable lead in the polls, lost by a whisker - some 30,000 votes, or 0.2 percent of the vote.’
    • ‘While its volumes are down, it managed to increase its segment share, if only by a whisker.’
    • ‘I intuit Blair will win the election by a whisker.’
    • ‘This year, for example, the amount given to Republicans is just a whisker more than $1 million.’
    • ‘This release just missed the cut on the last missive by a whisker and a bit.’
  • 3A spar for extending the clews of a sail so that it can catch more wind.

    • ‘Between the whiskers and the fore-mast.’

Origin

Late Middle English (originally denoting a bundle of feathers, twigs, etc., used for whisking): from the verb whisk + -er.

Pronunciation

whisker

/ˈ(h)wiskər/