Definition of vibrissa in English:

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vibrissa

Pronunciation: /vīˈbrisə/

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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.1 Ornithology Each of the coarse bristlelike feathers growing around the gape of certain insectivorous birds that catch insects in flight.

Origin

Late 17th century: from Latin, literally 'nostril hair'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vi·bris·sa

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