• synonyms


[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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  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

Related Words

dash, hurry, wipe, whip, dart, fly, shoot, rush, bullet, zip, tear, flit, flick, sweep, race, whiz, barrel, speed, flutter

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British Dictionary definitions for whisk


  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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  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


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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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