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Zinc whiskers (8) (tendrils that form on metal).


Middle English wisker, whisk (verb) +‎ -er[1]


  • IPA(key): /ʍɪskə(ɹ)/, /wɪskə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪskə(r)


whisker (plural whiskers)

  1. That part of the beard which grows upon the sides of the face, usually of the male, or upon the chin, or upon both.
  2. A hair of the beard.
  3. One of the long, projecting hairs growing at the sides of the mouth of a cat, or other animal.
  4. (colloquial) The (very small) distance between two things.
    It missed falling on your foot by a whisker.
    • 2011 May 14, Peter Scrivener, “Sunderland 1 - 3 Wolverhampton”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Boosted by their reward, Wolves continued to push forward and Jamie O'Hara came within a whisker of doubling the lead, smashing a 25-yard effort on to the bar.
  5. (nautical) Spreaders from the bows to spread the bowsprit shrouds.
  6. (statistics) A graphic element that shows the maxima and minima in a box plot.
  7. One who, or that which, whisks, or moves with a quick, sweeping motion.
  8. (metallurgy) A small tendril that forms on metal.

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Douglas Harper, “whisker”, in Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2021.