whisker

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v whisker furnish with whiskers "a whiskered jersey"
    • n whisker a long stiff hair growing from the snout or brow of most mammals as e.g. a cat
    • n whisker a very small distance or space "they escaped by a hair's-breadth","they lost the election by a whisker"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Catfish have tastebuds located on their whiskers
    • Whisker A hair of the beard.
    • Whisker Formerly, the hair of the upper lip; a mustache; -- usually in the plural. "Hoary whiskers and a forky beard."
    • Whisker (Naut) Iron rods extending on either side of the bowsprit, to spread, or guy out, the stays, etc.
    • Whisker One of the long, projecting hairs growing at the sides of the mouth of a cat, or other animal.
    • Whisker One who, or that which, whisks, or moves with a quick, sweeping motion.
    • Whisker That part of the beard which grows upon the sides of the face, or upon the chin, or upon both; as, side whiskers; chin whiskers.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: No two lions have the same pattern of whiskers, like a fingerprint.
    • n whisker One who or that which whisks, or moves with a quick, sweeping motion.
    • n whisker A switch or rod.
    • n whisker A bunch of feathers for sweeping anything.
    • n whisker In zoology:
    • n whisker One of the long, stiff, bristly hairs which grow on the upper lip of the cat and many other animals; a vibrissa; a feeler; also, the set of such hairs on either side of the mouth. See vibrissa, and cuts under Platyrhynchus and tiger.
    • n whisker plural Any similar formation of hairs, feathers, etc., about an animal's mouth; also, color-marks suggestive of whiskers, as mystacial or maxillary stripes. See whiskered.
    • n whisker In entomology, a long fringe of hairs on the clypeus, overhanging the mouth, as in flies of the genus Asilus.
    • n whisker The hair of the face, especially that on the sides of the face or cheeks of a man, as distinguished from that which grows on the upper lip (called the mustache) and that on the chin (called the beard), but the word was formerly also used for the hair on the upper lip: commonly in the plural. Compare side-whiskers.
    • n whisker In ships, an outrigger of wood or iron extending laterally from each side of the bowsprit-cap, serving to support the jib and flying-jib guys.
    • n whisker Something great or extraordinary; a whopper; a big lie.
    • n whisker A blusterer.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers.
    • ns Whisker he who, or that which, whisks: the hair on the sides of a man's face (esp. in pl.): the bristle on the face of a cat, &c
    • ***

Idioms

Between you and me and the cat's whiskers - This idiom is used when telling someone something that you want them to keep secret.
***
By a whisker - If you do something by a whisker, you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.
***
Cat's whiskers - Something excellent is the cat's whiskers.
***
Within a whisker - If you come within a whisker of doing something, you very nearly manage to do it but don't succeed.
***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Scand., Ice. visk, a wisp of hay; Sw. viska, to wipe, Ger. wischen; prob. conn. with wash.

Usage

In literature:

Pinkie Whiskers gave a mighty blow at the tree with his axe and turned to look at Uncle Whiskers.
"Hazel Squirrel and Other Stories" by Howard B. Famous
His whiskers gave a feeble flicker in response.
""Wee Tim'rous Beasties"" by Douglas English
But old whiskers had the evidence down pat, though.
"Shorty McCabe" by Sewell Ford
The big man with the whiskers was the first to make an attempt to reach the deck of the yacht.
"Frank Merriwell's Cruise" by Burt L. Standish
Ponzi ought to have been there to compete with the whiskered money sharks.
"The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki" by Joel R. Moore
Morro Castle'll cave in, an' th' air'll be full iv Spanish whiskers.
"Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War" by Finley Peter Dunne
Whiskers was the name of the monkey.
"Jack Wright and His Electric Stage;" by "Noname"
He had light hair, with largish whiskers, and he shaved his chin in harbour.
"A Voyage round the World" by W.H.G. Kingston
The whiskered man nodded.
"Gold Seekers of '49" by Edwin L. Sabin
This one had whiskers parted in the middle on his chin.
"The Man Next Door" by Emerson Hough
***

In poetry:

His tangled Hebrew beard,
Which to his waist came down,
Was now a pair of whiskers fair -
His name ADOLPHUS BROWN!
"The Bishop and the Busman" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Ah! if I could have whiskers grow,
I'd let you have my curls;
But what's the use of wishing it–
Boys never can be girls.
"Wishes" by Kate Greenaway
OH, if you were a little boy,
And I was a little girl–
Why you would have some whiskers grow
And then my hair would curl.
"Wishes" by Kate Greenaway
When wife and I have finished tea,
Our baby woos me with her prattle,
And, perching proudly on my knee,
She gives my petted whiskers battle.
"Beard And Baby" by Eugene Field
It may be that in age one seeks
Peace only: that the blood is brisker
In boy's veins, than in theirs whose cheeks
Are partially obscured by whisker;
"Gemini And Virgo" by Charles Stuart Calverley
And down his throat went steed and saddle,
So swiftly; and O, dear me!
'Stead of her gallant mouse, the lady
Discovered, where he should be,
A monster with blood on his whiskers showing,
And dreadful looks in his eyes so knowing!
"Pussy Cat's Doing" by Clara Doty Bates

In news:

Alcomo Takes Brooklyn Handicap by a Whisker .
Blind Luck Wins Las Virgenes by a Whisker .
United Way campaign, within whisker of goal, never stops accepting help for local agencies.
Using a whisker pole downwind featuring John Kretschmer.
Whiskers Holistic Pet Care.
Frankenweenie Mr Whiskers ' Dream Clip.
Say it with whiskers .
We construct small robots with whiskers and simulations of whisker movements to figure out an object's shape.
The model can be used to simulate the head and whisker movements that a rat may use to explore different objects.
Heartland Humane Society will host its second Wine & Whiskers event Saturday, Nov 5, at the Hillcrest Country Club in Yankton from 6 to 10 p.m.
" Whisker Wars" (IFC 9 p.m.) Apparently, "beard grooming" is a sport.
No Kill Louisville celebrated its one year anniversary with its inaugural Wags to Whiskers party on April 9 at the Louisville Zoo's African Outpost.
Whitehead & The Whiskers make 'Lullabies 2.
Now scientists have caught the whisker signals on video.
A Cozy Whiskers Pub Since 1988.
***

In science:

Absolute magnitudes are indicated by the angle of the whisker, with θ = 9Mr mag−1 deg.
Stellar Locus Regression: Accurate Color Calibration, and the Real-time Determination of Galaxy Cluster Photometric Redshifts
C (x, y ) → C (y , z ), called right whiskering.
The fundamental Gray 3-groupoid of a smooth manifold and local 3-dimensional holonomy based on a 2-crossed module
Similarly if ∂+ 1 (γ ′ ) = x and ∂− 1 (γ ′ ) = w there exists a 2-groupoid map γ ′ ♮1 : C (x, y ) → C (w, y ), called left whiskering.
The fundamental Gray 3-groupoid of a smooth manifold and local 3-dimensional holonomy based on a 2-crossed module
FIG. 1. (Color online) Box-and-whisker plot for the results for tests of the Borel normality property.
How Random Is Quantum Randomness? An Experimental Approach
FIG. 5. (Color online) Box-and-whisker plot for the results of the random walk tests.
How Random Is Quantum Randomness? An Experimental Approach
***