mustache

mustached, adj.
/mus"tash, meuh stash"/, n.
1. the hair growing on the upper lip
2. such hair on men, allowed to grow without shaving, and often trimmed in any of various shapes.
3. hairs or bristles growing near the mouth of an animal.
4. a stripe of color, or elongated feathers, suggestive of a mustache on the side of the head of a bird.
5. something resembling a mustache, as food or drink adhering to the upper lip: a mustache of milk.
Also, moustache.
[1575-85; < MF moustache < It mostaccio; see MUSTACHIO]

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also spelled  moustache 

      hair grown on the upper lip. Since antiquity, the wearing of mustaches, like beards, has reflected a wide range of customs, religious beliefs, and personal tastes. It was usual in the past to make no distinction between a mustache and other facial hair such as a beard or whiskers, as these were usually worn together. As early as 2650 BC, however, Egyptian artifacts show a pencil-line mustache with no beard.

      Throughout history, controversies have raged over the subject of facial hair. When clean-shaven faces were stylish, mustaches and beards were considered eccentric and often were forced by law to be shaved. The Romans considered the Gauls' wearing of mustaches with no beards to be the epitome of barbarism. In 1447 an English act was passed forcing men to shave their upper lip, but, some 400 years later, English soldiers were forbidden to shave their upper lip. The French military, the Prussian guard, and the Hussars sported the mustache in the early 19th century, but in 1838 the king of Bavaria forbade the wearing of mustaches in his military. Whenever mustaches have been sanctioned in fashionable circles, they have taken on a variety of forms. Some countries still regulate the wearing of facial hair, usually in the military services; generally, the wearing of a mustache is a matter of personal taste.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mustache — [mus′tash΄, məs tash′] n. [Fr moustache < It mostacchio, mustache < MGr mustaki < Gr mystax, upper lip, mustache < mastax, a mouth, jaws < IE base * menth > MOUTH] 1. a) the hair that a man has let grow out on his upper lip:… …   English World dictionary

  • Mustache — Mus*tache (m[u^]s*t[.a]sh ; 277), n.; pl. {Mustaches}. [Written also {moustache}.] [F. moustache, It. mostaccio visage, mostacchio mustache, fr. Gr. my stax upper lip and the beard upon it; cf. ma stax mouth: cf. Sp. mostacho.] 1. That part of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mustache — (n.) 1580s, from Fr. moustache (15c.), from It. mostaccio, from Medieval Gk. moustakion, dim. of Doric mystax (gen. mystakos) upper lip, mustache, related to mastax jaws, mouth, lit. that with which one chews, from PIE root *mendh to chew (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • mustache — (esp. Brit. moustache) ► NOUN ▪ a strip of hair left to grow above a man s upper lip. DERIVATIVES mustached adjective. ORIGIN French, from Greek mustax …   English terms dictionary

  • mustache — n mustachio, Sl. tickler, whiskers, lip hair, Sl. soupstrainer; handlebar mustache, toothbrush mustache, Sl. brush, Inf. fuzz …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder

  • mustache — also moustache noun Etymology: Middle French moustache, from Old Italian mustaccio, from Middle Greek moustaki, diminutive of Greek mystak , mystax upper lip, mustache Date: 1585 1. the hair growing on the human upper lip; especially such hair… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mustache — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. hairline, toothbrush, Charlie Chaplin, Hitler, Kaiser Wilhelm, waxed, handlebar, or walrus mustache; soup strainer, tickler, cookie duster (all sl.). See roughness. II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. moustachio …   English dictionary for students

  • mustache — mus|tache [məˈsta:ʃ US ˈmʌstæʃ] n [Date: 1500 1600; : French; Origin: moustache, from Italian mustaccio, from Medieval Greek moustaki, from Greek mystax upper lip, mustache ] the usual American spelling of ↑moustache …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • mustache — mus|tache [ mʌstæʃ ] noun count * the hair that a man can grow on his upper lip a. mustaches plural a long thick mustache …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • mustache — US var. of MOUSTACHE. * * * mustache see moustache …   Useful english dictionary

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