Etymology
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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.), agent noun from whisk (v.). In reference to animal lip hair, recorded from 1670s. Related: Whiskered; whiskers.

updated on April 02, 2014

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Definitions of whisker from WordNet
1
whisker (n.)
a very small distance or space;
they lost the election by a whisker
Synonyms: hair's-breadth / hairsbreadth / hair
whisker (n.)
a long stiff hair growing from the snout or brow of most mammals as e.g. a cat;
Synonyms: vibrissa / sensory hair
2
whisker (v.)
furnish with whiskers;
a whiskered jersey
Synonyms: bewhisker
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.