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 (vī-brĭs′ə, və-)
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]
viˈbrissal adj


(vaɪˈbrɪs ə)

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]
vi•bris′sal, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.vibrissa - a long stiff hair growing from the snout or brow of most mammals as e.g. a catvibrissa - a long stiff hair growing from the snout or brow of most mammals as e.g. a cat
hair - a filamentous projection or process on an organism
References in periodicals archive ?
Vibrissal angle relatively blunt; vibrissa strong, located at level of lower eye margin.
Paper topics include silent neurons in sensomotor cortices and their implications for cortical plasticity, the Vibrissa resonance hypothesis, spatial and temporal roles underlying rat barrel cones plasticity, cortical evidence, perceptual learning and referral in the tactile system, the effects of sensory deprivation in sensory function of the SI barrel cortex, the role of plasticity in sensomotor transformations, neural plasticity in the adult motor cortex, reorganization of the motor cortex after damage in the motor system, and a behavioral basis of focal hand dystonia through aberrant learning in the somatosensory cortex.
Minimus Secundus lives at Vindolanda Roman fort in Northumberland, where he spars with the cat Vibrissa - Latin for whiskers.