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whisk

[hwisk, wisk]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to move with a rapid, sweeping stroke: She whisked everything off the table with her arm.
  2. to sweep (dust, crumbs, etc., or a surface) with a whisk broom, brush, or the like.
  3. to draw, snatch, carry, etc., lightly and rapidly: He whisked the money into his pocket.
  4. to whip (eggs, cream, etc.) to a froth with a whisk or beating instrument.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to sweep, pass, or go lightly and rapidly.
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noun
  1. an act of whisking.
  2. a rapid, sweeping stroke; light, rapid movement.
  3. whisk broom.
  4. a small bunch of grass, straw, hair, or the like, especially for use in brushing.
  5. an implement, usually a bunch of wire loops held together in a handle, for beating or whipping eggs, cream, etc.
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Origin of whisk

1325–75; (noun) Middle English (Scots) wysk rapid sweeping movement; (v.) earlier Scots wisk, quhisk < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse, Norwegian visk wisp, Swedish viska besom, wisp, to whisk (off), Danish viske to wipe (compare Old High German wisken to wipe, wisc wisp of hay); for development of wh cf. whip
Related formsun·whisked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for whisk

whisk

verb
  1. (tr; often foll by away or off) to brush, sweep, or wipe off lightly
  2. (tr) to move, carry, etc, with a light or rapid sweeping motionthe taxi whisked us to the airport
  3. (intr) to move, go, etc, quickly and nimblyto whisk downstairs for a drink
  4. (tr) to whip (eggs, cream, etc) to a froth
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noun
  1. the act of whisking
  2. a light rapid sweeping movement or stroke
  3. a utensil, often incorporating a coil of wires, for whipping eggs, etc
  4. a small brush or broom
  5. a small bunch or bundle, as of grass, straw, etc
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Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse visk wisp; related to Middle Dutch wisch, Old High German wisc
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 whisk

n.

late 14c., "quick stroke, sweeping movement," probably from Old Norse visk "wisp," from Proto-Germanic *wisk- "move quickly" (cf. Middle Dutch wisch, Dutch wis, Old High German wisc, German wisch "wisp, brush"), from PIE root *weis- "to turn, twist" (cf. Sanskrit veskah "noose," Czech vechet "a wisp of straw"). Meaning "implement for beating eggs, etc." first recorded 1570s.

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v.

late 15c., from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish viske, Norwegian, Swedish viska) related to Old English wiscian "to plait," weoxian "to clean" (with a whisk or brush), granwisc "awn" (see whisk (n.)). Related: Whisked; whisking.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper