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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
On a cat, 'Vibrissae' are more commonly known by what name?
All these whiskers, or "vibrissae," are stiff tactile hairs that help your cat learn about her environment.
The long hair in your nose - called vibrissae - is part of your body's defense system.
Evaluation of mustache and blink reflexes in rats Vibrissae observation scale Score Movement Position 1 No movement Posterior 2 Light tremor Posterior 3 Greater tremor Posterior 4 Normal movement Posterior 5 Normal movement Anterior Scale of eye closing and blinking reflex observation Score Movement 1 No movement 2 Contraction/No closure 3 50% closure 4 75% closure 5 Complete closure Table 2.
The modified Garcia scale was employed to evaluate the neurological function at 24 and 72 h after SAH and included six measurements as follows: spontaneous activity, forepaw outstretching, symmetry of limb climbing, responses to body proprioception, and vibrissae touch [17].
Specifically, both stimulation of the vibrissae on the snout (whiskers) of mice and auditory stimulation evoked hyperpolarization in V1 [8].
Vibrissae present or absent in TI and TII, if present generally in the form of fine and disperse hairs, rarely as thick and dense bristles (Fig.
23), slightly wider than long, frons length/width ratio: 50:55 (HT), markedly wider at vertex than at ventral margin; arista with 8 long dorsal branches and 3 ventral branches in addition to terminal fork; face with narrow silver fascia (adjacent to eye margin); 1 pair of weak vibrissae inserted on posterior lateral margin and 10 much finer setae bordering genal groove; occiput grey pruinose throughout; gena narrow, eye height/ genal height ratio: 9:1 (HT), silver pruinose, slightly dirty yellow beyond basal angle; palpus brown.
Comparative morphology of the follicle-sinus complex (Vibrissae) in wild and domestic guinea pigs.
(3) The rarity of this disease can be explained by the protective functions provided by the ciliary action of the nasal mucosa, the bactericidal properties of the nasal secretions, and the protective mechanisms of the nasal vibrissae.
A few studies investigated the effects of whisker manipulation on A[beta] levels in the barrel cortex, a neuronal circuit that receives physiological inputs from the vibrissae of mice [12, 16, 17].