Definition of whisker in English:

whisker

Syllabification: whisk·er
Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wiskər
 
/

noun

1A long projecting hair or bristle growing from the face or snout of many mammals.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Another notable mode of sensation in cats are whiskers, or vibrissae.
  • It has a nose like a dog's, teeth like a leopard's, and whiskers like an otter's.
1.1 (whiskers) The hair growing on a man’s face, especially on his cheeks.
More example sentences
  • The examiner was a Dr Bull, an elderly anatomy lecturer of rather Victorian appearance, with mutton-chop whiskers and beetling eyebrows.
  • 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.
  • The Emperor Franz Josef favoured equally luxuriant mutton-chop whiskers - effectively a beard, with the chin shaven.
Synonyms
1.2A single crystal of a material in the form of a filament with no dislocations.
More example sentences
  • The particles may be carbon fibers, carbon black, carbon whiskers, coated hollow microspheres, or a combination thereof.
  • 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.
  • Chlamydomonas strains were transformed according to the silicon carbide whisker method of DUNAHAY 1993, with the following modifications.
2 (a whisker) informal A very small amount: they won the election by a whisker
More example sentences
  • 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.
More example sentences
  • 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 + -er1.

Phrases

within a whisker of

informal Extremely close or near to doing, achieving, or suffering something.
More example sentences
  • As the center's initial three-year grant drew to a close, CTFA came within a whisker of pulling its support.
  • As a result of those finds, Cairn's shares have risen in steady steps from £4 to within a whisker of £15 today.
  • He said the SRA wanted to scrap the route to shave a couple of minutes off the Manchester to London journey time, bringing it within a whisker of two hours.

Derivatives

whiskered

adjective
More example sentences
  • For most of his career, the 69-year-old stage and TV actor has specialised in playing older character parts - more often than not the kind of fearsomely whiskered old coves who look like they'd be pretty handy with a blunderbuss.
  • Occasionally I would be rewarded with a wee, twitching, whiskered snout poking out of the little yellow house.
  • Rivalling the film's spectacular scenery for radiant, wintry beauty, Nicole Kidman plays Ada, pitching up in the town of Cold Mountain with her preacher pappy - a white whiskered Donald Sutherland.

whiskery

adjective
More example sentences
  • A fat, whiskery man relaxing on the bridge introduced himself as ‘Casper - the friendly Second Officer’.
  • When I got back to the table I stood behind Papa, slipped my arms around his neck and bending down kissed his whiskery cheek.
  • For many people the word ‘geologist’ is apt to conjure up images of whiskery Victorian fossil collectors clad in heavy tweeds.

Definition of whisker in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day nous
Pronunciation: no͞os
noun
the mind or intellect