• synonyms


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.
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noun, plural husk·ies.
  1. a size of garments meant for the larger or heavier than average boy.
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Origin of husky1

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


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for huskiness

Historical Examples

  • Wherefore he purges his huskiness by loud and repeated recitation.

    The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura

    Lucius Apuleius

  • He had heard the old man speak, and there had been a huskiness about his voice.

    The Bishop of Cottontown

    John Trotwood Moore

  • The huskiness and general chokiness of the tone were unmistakable.

  • "My son," he said, and the clock accentuated the huskiness of his voice.

  • Capt. Burton wiped his eyes, and cleared the huskiness from his voice.

British Dictionary definitions for huskiness


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
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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
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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 huskiness



"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.

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"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]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper