- whiskers, a beard.
- Usually whiskers. side whiskers.
- a single hair of the beard.
- Archaic. a mustache.
- one of the long, stiff, bristly hairs growing about the mouth of certain animals, as the cat or rat; vibrissa.
- Also called whisker boom, whisker pole. Nautical. any spar for extending the clew or clews of a sail so that it can catch more wind.
- Radio, Electronics. cat whisker.
- Crystallography. a thin filament of a crystal, usually several millimeters long and one to two microns in diameter, having unusually great strength.
- by a whisker, by the narrowest margin: She won the race by a whisker.
Origin of whisker
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any of the stiff sensory hairs growing on the face of a cat, rat, or other mammalTechnical name: vibrissa
- any of the hairs growing on a person's face, esp on the cheeks or chin
- (plural) a beard or that part of it growing on the sides of the face
- (plural) informal a moustache
- Also called: whisker boom, whisker pole any light spar used for extending the clews of a sail, esp in light airs
- chem a very fine filamentary crystal having greater strength than the bulk material since it is a single crystal. Such crystals often show unusual electrical properties
- a person or thing that whisks
- a narrow margin; a small distancehe escaped death by a whisker
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for by-a-whisker
"hair of a man's face" (usually plural), c.1600, originally a playful formation, from Middle English wisker "anything that whisks or sweeps" (early 15c.); see whisk (v.). In reference to animal lip hair, recorded from 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with by-a-whisker
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.