There are 2 main definitions of husky in English:

Share this entry

husky 1

Pronunciation: /ˈhʌski/

adjective (huskier, huskiest)

1(Of a voice or utterance) sounding low-pitched and slightly hoarse: his voice became a husky, erotic whisper
More example sentences
  • She speaks in a husky voice that clicks slightly from a dry mouth.
  • ‘You go ahead,’ Rex said in an anxious, slightly husky voice.
  • The women were all in sequins and diamonds and they smoked cigarettes and had raspy voices and husky laughs.
2(Of a person) big and strong: Paddy looked a husky, strong guy
More example sentences
  • He was a few inches shorter than me and he's husky.
  • The husky man looked irritated at being interrupted.
  • This is why husky men over 6 feet tall should avoid yoga.
strong, muscular, muscly, muscle-bound, brawny, hefty, burly, chunky, strapping, thickset, solid, powerful, heavy, robust, rugged, sturdy, Herculean, big and strong, broad-shouldered, well built, powerfully built, solidly built
informal beefy, hunky, hulking, ripped, shredded
North American informal buff
dated stalwart
literary thewy, stark
3Like or consisting of a husk or husks: the husky stem of a palm tree



Pronunciation: /ˈhʌskɪli/
Example sentences
  • ‘I don't think I can watch this,’ he muttered huskily.
  • ‘I was just about to mention it,’ he said huskily.
  • ‘Hello boss,’ a voice whispered huskily into her ear.


Pronunciation: /ˈhʌskɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • ‘I was hoping it was you,’ she whispered with a huskiness Jesse recognised instantly.
  • There was something familiar in the huskiness of his tone that she couldn't quite place.
  • Her voice was quick and anxious, not her usual slight huskiness.

Words that rhyme with husky

dusky, musky
Share this entry

There are 2 main definitions of husky in English:

Share this entry

husky 2

Pronunciation: /ˈhʌski/

noun (plural huskies)

A powerful dog of a breed with a thick double coat which is typically grey, used in the Arctic for pulling sledges.
Example sentences
  • Similarly, a trip to where the huskies are bred and trained to pull sleighs takes you right to the heart of what the traditional lifestyle is like.
  • It is being marketed particularly to owners of the most naturally active breeds such as greyhounds and huskies, which can be worst affected by inactivity.
  • He'd been working and breeding Alaskan huskies for five years.


Mid 19th century (originally denoting the Eskimo language or an Eskimo): abbreviation of obsolete Ehuskemay or Newfoundland dialect Huskemaw 'Eskimo', probably from Montagnais (see Eskimo). The term replaced the 18th-century term Eskimo dog.

  • Husky for a hoarse-sounding person (one with a husky voice) and the term husky for an Arctic dog are unconnected. The first comes from husk (Middle English) meaning ‘the dry outer covering of a fruit or seed’, a medieval word from Dutch hūskjin ‘little house’—the husk was pictured as the ‘house’ of the seed it contained. The name of the powerful dog used for pulling sledges probably comes from a Native American language, and came from Newfoundland dialect Huskemaw a form of Eskimo, first used in English in around 1830. Our use is from the shortening of husky dog or ‘Eskimo dog’.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.