[muhs-tash, muh-stash]


Related formsmous·tached, adjective


or mous·tache

[muhs-tash, muh-stash]


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 formsmus·tached, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for moustache

Contemporary Examples of moustache

Historical Examples of moustache

  • "Till the Bourbons return," said another Carlist, playing with his moustache.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Duncan removed one hand from the pocket the better to tug at his moustache.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Duquesnel did not utter a word, but he pulled his moustache to hide a smile.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Nobody ever saw much more of the Major than his nose and his moustache.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Sydney Barnes smiled, and left off nervously tugging at his moustache.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

British Dictionary definitions for moustache


US mustache


the unshaved growth of hair on the upper lip, and sometimes down the sides of the mouth
a similar growth of hair or bristles (in animals) or feathers (in birds)
a mark like a moustache
Derived Formsmoustached or US mustached, adjective

Word Origin for moustache

C16: via French from Italian mostaccio, ultimately from Doric Greek mustax upper lip



the US spelling of moustache
Derived Formsmustached, 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

Word Origin and History for moustache

see mustache. Related: moustachial.



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