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vibrissa

[ vahy-bris-uh ]
/ vaɪˈbrɪs ə /
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noun, plural vi·bris·sae [vahy-bris-ee]. /vaɪˈbrɪs i/.
one of the stiff, bristly hairs growing about the mouth of certain animals, as a whisker of a cat.
one of the long, slender, bristlelike feathers growing along the side of the mouth in many birds.
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Origin of vibrissa

First recorded 1685–95; from Late Latin, derivative of Latin vibrāre “to shake”

OTHER WORDS FROM vibrissa

vi·bris·sal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vibrissa in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vibrissa

vibrissa
/ (vaɪˈbrɪsə) /

noun plural -sae (-siː) (usually plural)
any of the bristle-like sensitive hairs on the face of many mammals; a whisker
any of the specialized bristle-like feathers around the beak in certain insectivorous birds

Derived forms of vibrissa

vibrissal, adjective

Word Origin for vibrissa

C17: from Latin, probably from vibrāre to shake
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

Scientific definitions for vibrissa

vibrissa
[ vī-brĭsə, və- ]

Plural vibrissae (vī-brĭsē, və-)
Any of the long, stiff, bristlelike hairs that project from the snout or brow of most mammals, as the whiskers of a cat or rat. Vibrissae often serve as tactile organs, especially in nocturnal animals and marine mammals such as seals and manatees.
Any of several long modified feathers that grow along the sides of the beak of certain birds and help trap insects caught in flight.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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