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adjective, husk·i·er, husk·i·est.
  1. big and strong; burly.
  2. (of the voice) having a semiwhispered vocal tone; somewhat hoarse, as when speaking with a cold or from grief or passion.
  3. like, covered with, or full of husks.
  4. made in a size meant for the larger or heavier than average boy: size 18 husky pants.
  5. for, pertaining to, or wearing clothing in this size: the husky department; husky boys.
noun, plural husk·ies.
  1. a size of garments meant for the larger or heavier than average boy.

Origin of husky1

First recorded in 1545–55; husk + -y1
Related formshusk·i·ly, adverbhusk·i·ness, noun


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1. robust, brawny, strapping. 2. harsh, gruff, rasping, throaty.


noun, plural husk·ies. Informal.
  1. a big, strong person.

Origin of husky2

1865–70; noun use of husky1, with the suffix taken as -y2


noun, plural husk·ies. (sometimes initial capital letter)
  1. Eskimo dog.
  2. Siberian Husky.
  3. Canadian Slang.
    1. an Inuit.
    2. the language of the Inuit.

Origin of husky3

1870–75; by ellipsis from husky dog, husky breed; compare Newfoundland and Labrador dial. Husky a Labrador Inuit, earlier Huskemaw, Uskemaw, ultimately < the same Algonquian source as Eskimo
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for husky

Historical Examples

  • Steel your heart against the seductive charms of these Husky belles!

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • We bade a hasty farewell to the Husky belles, and handed them into their barge.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • I wonder what our Husky friends thought of this little bombardment!

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • Why, you don't doubt your ability to win the affections of a Husky belle, do you?

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • "You do what you're told with less lip," said Husky threateningly.

    The Huntress

    Hulbert Footner

British Dictionary definitions for husky


adjective huskier or huskiest
  1. (of a voice, an utterance, etc) slightly hoarse or rasping
  2. of, like, or containing husks
  3. informal big, strong, and well-built
Derived Formshuskily, adverbhuskiness, noun

Word Origin

C19: probably from husk, from the toughness of a corn husk


noun plural huskies
  1. a breed of Arctic sled dog with a thick dense coat, pricked ears, and a curled tail
  2. Canadian slang
    1. a member of the Inuit people
    2. the Inuit language

Word Origin

C19: probably based on Eskimo
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 husky


"hoarse," c.1722 in reference to a cattle disease (of persons, 1740), from husk on the notion of "dry as a husk." Earlier (1550s) "having husks." Sense of "tough and strong" (like corn husks) is first found 1869, American English. Related: Huskily; huskiness.


"Eskimo dog," 1852, Canadian English, earlier (1830) hoskey "an Eskimo," probably shortened variant of Ehuskemay (1743), itself a variant of Eskimo.

The moment any vessel is noticed steering for these islands [Whalefish Islands], the Esquimaux, or "Huskies,"* as the Danes customarily term them, come off in sufficient numbers to satisfy you that you are near the haunts of uncivilized men, and will afford sufficient information to guide any stranger to his anchorage. *"Husky" is their own term. I recollect the chorus to a song at Kamtchatka was "Husky, Husky." ["Last of the Arctic Voyages," London, 1855]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper