moustache

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English[edit]

Man with moustache and sideburns
The mustache of Charlie Chaplin

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Used in English since the 16th century. Via French moustache from Italian mostaccio, from Byzantine Greek μουστάκιον (moustákion), diminutive of (Doric) Ancient Greek μύσταξ (mústax, upper lip), from Proto-Indo-European *mendʰ- (to chew). Replaced native English kemp (moustache), from Old English cenep (moustache).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

moustache (plural moustaches)

  1. A growth of facial hair between the nose and the upper lip.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; []. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, and from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
    • 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 555:
      Crabbe caught the eye of the oboist, an ancient man with dignified moustaches, and mimed that they were going round to the front, to watch the real thing, the shadows.
    For more quotations using this term, see Citations:moustache.

Usage notes[edit]

The plural forms moustaches and mustaches, while formerly popular equivalents for the facial hair on a man's upper lip, are now archaic, with the singular preferred.

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Neapolitan mustaccio (compare Italian mostaccio), itself, possibly through an intermediate Late Latin *mustaceum (see for cognates), from Byzantine Greek μουστάκιον (moustákion), from Ancient Greek μύσταξ (mústax).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

moustache f (plural moustaches)

  1. moustache, mustache
  2. (often in plural) whisker (of a cat)

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Norman[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French moustache.

Noun[edit]

moustache f (plural moustaches)

  1. (Jersey) moustache