noun (plural vibrissae /-brisē/ /-ˈbrisˌī/)Zoology
1Any of the long stiff hairs growing around the mouth or elsewhere on the face of many mammals, used as organs of touch; whiskers.
- They also have large vibrissae, stiff whisker-like hairs above the upper lip and at the corners of the mouth.
- Rather, they find food via the sensitive touch of their 600 to 700 vibrissae, or whiskers, which have been likened to multifingered hands on the animals' snouts.
- They use their vibrissae as sensing organs underwater to monitor the movements of fishes and other prey.
Late 17th century: from Latin, literally 'nostril hair'.
For editors and proofreaders
Definition of vibrissa in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.