Basic+ Word of the Day: whisker

whisker (noun) LISTEN

A whisker is a hair of a mustache or beard.

  • The man combed his whiskers.
  • The teenager thought he saw a whisker growing above his lip.

A whisker is also one of the long hairs growing near the mouth of an animal.

  • My cat's whiskers brushed my arm as he cuddled on my lap.

Common uses

by a whisker: by the smallest amount. Example: “Beauty won the horse race by a whisker.”

Did you know?

In 1920s slang the cat’s whiskers referred to something very desirable, attractive or enjoyable. For example, “Gladys is the cat’s whiskers in that new dress,” or “Reggie’s new boat is the cat’s whiskers.”

In pop culture

Weird Girl and her cat Mr. Whiskers are characters in Tim Burton’s movie Frankenweenie. Creepy! Watch this clip.

There are other meanings of whisker.
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