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or moustache

[muhs-tash, muh-stash] /ˈmʌs tæʃ, məˈstæʃ/
the hair growing on the upper lip.
such hair on men, allowed to grow without shaving, and often trimmed in any of various shapes.
hairs or bristles growing near the mouth of an animal.
a stripe of color, or elongated feathers, suggestive of a mustache on the side of the head of a bird.
something resembling a mustache, as food or drink adhering to the upper lip:
a mustache of milk.
Origin of mustache
1575-85; < Middle French moustache < Italian mostaccio; see mustachio
Related forms
mustached, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mustache
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “Maybe it means having a mustache,” said Carl, with a slight flush.

    Almost A Man Mary Wood-Allen
  • That has something to do with it certainly, but Mrs. Flynn has a mustache, and she is not a man.

    Almost A Man Mary Wood-Allen
  • You had a mustache then and your name was diff'rent, but you seemed familiar just the same.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Swan pushed back from the table, wringing the coffee from his mustache.

  • His hair and mustache were coal black; they are a motley gray.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for mustache


the US spelling of moustache
Derived Forms
mustached, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for mustache

1580s, from French moustache (15c.), from Italian mostaccio, from Medieval Greek moustakion, diminutive of Doric mystax (genitive mystakos) "upper lip, mustache," related to mastax "jaws, mouth," literally "that with which one chews," from PIE root *mendh- "to chew" (see mandible).

Borrowed earlier (1550s) as mostacchi, from the Italian word or its Spanish derivative mostacho. The plural form of this, mustachios, lingers in English. Dutch slang has a useful noun, de befborstel, to refer to the mustache specifically as a tool for stimulating the clitoris; probably from beffen "to stimulate the clitoris with the tongue."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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