whisker

[hwis-ker, wis-]
|

noun


Idioms

    by a whisker, by the narrowest margin: She won the race by a whisker.

Origin of whisker

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at whisk, -er1
Related formswhisk·er·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for by-a-whisker

whisker

noun

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

whisker

n.

"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

whisker

see by a hair (whisker); win by a nose (whisker).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.