Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
n. pl. vi·bris·sae (-brĭs′ē)
1. Any of the long stiff hairs that are located chiefly on the muzzle of most mammals and that function as tactile organs, as the whiskers of a cat.
2. One of several long modified feathers located at the sides of the mouth of insect-eating birds.
[From Late Latin vibrissae, nostril hairs, from vibrāre, to vibrate; see vibrate.]
n (usually plural) , pl -sae (-siː)
1. (Zoology) any of the bristle-like sensitive hairs on the face of many mammals; whisker
2. (Zoology) any of the specialized bristle-like feathers around the beak in certain insectivorous birds
[C17: from Latin, probably from vibrāre to shake]
n., pl. -bris•sae (-ˈbrɪs i)
1. one of the stiff hairs at the sides of the mouth in some animals, as a whisker of a cat.
2. one of the similar stiff feathers at the sides of the mouth in some insect-eating birds, as the whippoorwill.
[1685–95; < Medieval Latin, derivative of Latin vibrāre to shake]