noun, whis·tle often attributive \ˈhwi-səl, ˈwi-\

: a small device that makes a very high and loud sound when a person blows air through it

: a device through which air or steam is forced to produce a very high and loud sound

: a high and loud sound made by forcing air through your lips or teeth

Full Definition of WHISTLE

a :  a small wind instrument in which sound is produced by the forcible passage of breath through a slit in a short tube <a police whistle>
b :  a device through which air or steam is forced into a cavity or against a thin edge to produce a loud sound <a factory whistle>
a :  a shrill clear sound produced by forcing breath out or air in through the puckered lips
b :  the sound produced by a whistle
c :  a signal given by or as if by whistling
:  a sound that resembles a whistle; especially :  a shrill clear note of or as if of a bird

Examples of WHISTLE

  1. The policeman blew his whistle.
  2. We could hear the train's whistle.
  3. We could hear the low whistle of the wind through the trees.
  4. the whistle of the tea kettle

Origin of WHISTLE

Middle English, from Old English hwistle; akin to Old Norse hvīsla to whisper
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue



: to make a high sound by blowing air through your lips or teeth

: to produce a high and loud sound by forcing air or steam through a device

: to move, pass, or go very fast with a high sound

whis·tledwhis·tling \-s(ə-)liŋ\

Full Definition of WHISTLE

intransitive verb
a :  to utter a shrill clear sound by blowing or drawing air through the puckered lips
b :  to utter a shrill note or call resembling a whistle
c :  to make a shrill clear sound especially by rapid movement <the wind whistled>
d :  to blow or sound a whistle
a :  to give a signal or issue an order or summons by or as if by whistling
b :  to make a demand without result <he did a sloppy job, so he can whistle for his money>
transitive verb
a :  to send, bring, signal, or call by or as if by whistling
b :  to charge (as a basketball or hockey player) with an infraction
:  to produce, utter, or express by whistling <whistle a tune>
whis·tle·able \-sə-lə-bəl\ adjective
whistle in the dark
:  to keep up one's courage by or as if by whistling

Examples of WHISTLE

  1. He was whistling as he walked down the street.
  2. He whistled for a cab.
  3. He whistled a happy tune.
  4. The teakettle started to whistle.
  5. A bullet whistled past him.

First Known Use of WHISTLE

before 12th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: whistle–blowerPrevious Word in the Dictionary: whist familyAll Words Near: whistle
May 24, 2015
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