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[hwey, wey] /ʰweɪ, weɪ/
a milk serum, separating as liquid from the curd after coagulation, as in cheese making.
Origin of whey
before 900; Middle English wheye, Old English hwǣg; cognate with Dutch, Low German wei
Related forms
wheylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for whey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is composed of three constituents—namely, butter, curd, and whey—each of which is also composed of a number of substances.

    The Stock-Feeder's Manual Charles Alexander Cameron
  • In these "leads" the whey is kept, and drawn off by pulling up a wooden plug.

    The Toilers of the Field Richard Jefferies
  • Let it boil once again; stand it off to cool, and strain the whey through a fine strainer or sieve.

    The National Cook Book, 9th ed. Hannah Mary Peterson
  • We drew the whey hours ago, and now we are just done putting the curd to press.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • Now the mass is raised clear of the whey, and run along a short track to the drain table, where it is put in the press.

    The Book of Cheese Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk
  • Pour off the whey from it, and it will be found an excellent and cooling drink.

British Dictionary definitions for whey


the watery liquid that separates from the curd when the milk is clotted, as in making cheese
Derived Forms
wheyey, wheyish, wheylike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English hwǣg; related to Middle Low German wei, heie, Dutch hui
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 whey

Old English hwæg "whey," from Proto-Germanic *khwaja- (cf. Middle Dutch wey, Dutch wei), of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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