Share this entry

Share this page

vibrissae

Line breaks: vi¦bris|sae
Pronunciation: /vʌɪˈbrɪsiː
 
/

Definition of vibrissae in English:

plural noun

Zoology
1Long 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 Coarse bristle-like feathers growing around the gape of certain insectivorous birds that catch insects in flight.

Origin

late 17th century: from Latin, literally 'nostril hairs'.

Definition of vibrissae in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: jônt
noun
a short excursion or journey for pleasure