bells and whistles

plural noun

Definition of bells and whistles

: items or features that are useful or decorative but not essential : frills

Examples of bells and whistles in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web No distracting bells and whistles, such as social media notifications or email chimes. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Apr. 2022 For someone who doesn't want to spend a fortune on a treadmill, but still wants to have a few bells and whistles, trainer and Fitbit head coach Adrian Richardson, recommends trying out a ProForm smart treadmill. Malia Griggs, SELF, 26 Jan. 2022 And while some of these exercise machines may come with a hefty price tag, there are also affordable options to consider — at the cost of some of the bells and whistles the higher-end models offer, of course. Shari Uyehara, NBC News, 4 Mar. 2021 But most evident among Stone’s various bells and whistles are the screens and cameras, which, in true 21st-century form, are everywhere. Washington Post, 24 Apr. 2022 Though the bells and whistles are valuable and useful for businesses, not every business is financially ready to go all in, so start small and build up, using the money your business generates from utilizing AI. Jay Bean, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 This will be the Standard Edition without all the bells and whistles but that’s enough for most folk. Erik Kain, Forbes, 9 Nov. 2021 Industry experts say younger adults appear to be driving the migration towards cards with more bells and whistles. NBC News, 2 Nov. 2021 While some have more bells and whistles than others, all of the ones here fill a different niche. Outside Online, 10 Dec. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bells and whistles.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bells and whistles

1968, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bells and whistles

Time Traveler

The first known use of bells and whistles was in 1968

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Dictionary Entries Near bells and whistles

bell rope

bells and whistles

bell scraper

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Statistics for bells and whistles

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bells and whistles.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bells and whistles

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bells and whistles

Nglish: Translation of bells and whistles for Spanish Speakers


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