hissed; hissing; hisses

intransitive verb

: to make a sharp sibilant sound
the crowd hissed in disapproval
hissing steam

transitive verb

: to express disapproval of by hissing
hissed the performers off the stage
: to utter or whisper angrily or threateningly and with a hiss
hiss noun
hisser noun

Examples of hiss in a Sentence

The radiator hissed as it let off steam. The audience hissed him off the stage. “Leave me alone!” he hissed.
Recent Examples on the Web Some cicada species make hissing or clicking sounds when handled or disturbed, as a warning signal to potential predators. Tiffany Acosta, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2024 The sounds of bones crunching and hot blood hissing onto white snow; the claustrophobia of being buried in an avalanche in real time; a pallid, emaciated hand reaching into a pile of bones to pick the last meat off a friend’s ribs. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 5 Jan. 2024 Hydrogen gas hissed through the breaches and drifted up to the top of the building. IEEE Spectrum, 31 Oct. 2011 This week, Megan Thee Stallion hisses back at her haters, Charli XCX teams up with some cool girls for her latest hyper pop moment, and Ice Spice puts a new spin on an old classic. Rolling Stone, 10 May 2024 Along the way, humans have also managed to make companions out of far more unusual animals — from hissing snakes to wily ferrets to even colorful, ornamental fish. Katie Liu, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2024 Put the call in your mouth and make a hissing sound (somewhere between a snake and a cat) as Simpson suggests in his video. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 1 May 2024 Animal shelters and zoos across the country are willing to name litter boxes, outdoor posts, feral cats and Madagascar hissing cockroaches after ex-lovers in exchange for small donations. Erin Glynn, The Enquirer, 23 Feb. 2024 And no one wants to touch those germy air nozzles, which only provide a hissing draft of dry air anyway. Eric Rosen, Travel + Leisure, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hiss.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, of imitative origin

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of hiss was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near hiss

Cite this Entry

“Hiss.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hiss. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to make a long sharp sound like that of the speech sound \s\ or that made by an alarmed animal (as a snake or cat) usually as a sign of disapproval
hissed them off the stage
hiss noun
hisser noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hiss

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