\ˈhis \
hissed; hissing; hisses

Definition of hiss 

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

1 : to express disapproval of by hissing hissed the performers off the stage

2 : to utter or whisper angrily or threateningly and with a hiss

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Other Words from hiss

hiss noun
hisser noun

Synonyms for hiss


fizz, fizzle, sizzle, swish, whish, whiz (or whizz)

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After an opening section coasted for a bit on a meditative air, courtesy of pinging bells and hissing high strings, the soft-grained entrance of trumpets signaled a change, without overhauling the moderate, peaceable dynamics. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "Review: A Pulitzer Sequel for Orchestra, Packed With Drama in Microcosm," 30 Mar. 2018 Israeli soldiers, just a few hundred yards away on the other side of the boundary fence, had fired a volley of hissing cans at the protesters. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "‘A day of gas’ inside a Gaza ambulance," 18 May 2018 DAVID BERGMAN Herald Staff Fans, unaware of the injury, booed and hissed. Michelle Kaufman, miamiherald, "Key Biscayne gave us first All-Williams final — and ballgirl who won point against Agassi | Miami Herald," 19 Mar. 2018 His face appeared on a screen and students hissed and booed, offering a reminder that the president’s divisive rhetoric on immigration can’t be forgotten even in times of celebration. Sophie Haigney, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Jose principal becomes U.S. citizen in front of her students," 22 May 2018 Serums like CosRX's Triple C Lightning Liquid, my choice, use antioxidants to intercept free radicals (boo, hiss), which gradually break down your skin's ability to repair itself. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "How Easing Into Retinol Led to My Best Skin Ever," 13 Mar. 2018 The event features thousands of creepy-crawlies, including live lizards, snakes and the famous Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Lions Club member receives fellowship award ...community news," 14 July 2018 Jordan Broderick, 15, was stuck in a tree in Lake County for nearly an hour on Friday afternoon because a 10-foot alligator sat on the ground below, hissing at her, the Sun-Sentinel reported, citing a sheriff's office report. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Florida deputy fatally shoots alligator who chased teen girl up tree," 2 July 2018 The idea: Experiencing vastly larger-than-life butterflies, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and bedbugs makes them less creepy-crawly, more relatable. Bethany Ao, Philly.com, "7 days of things to do in Philadelphia from May 20 to 26," 17 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of hiss

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for hiss

Middle English, of imitative origin

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Statistics for hiss

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hiss

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

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More Definitions for hiss



English Language Learners Definition of hiss

: to produce a sound like a long “s” : to make a hiss

: to show that you dislike or disapprove of someone (such as a performer or speaker) by making a hiss

: to say (something) in a loud or angry whisper


\ˈhis \
hissed; hissing

Kids Definition of hiss

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a sound like a long \s\ The creature hissed and hot flame shot from its mouth.— Mary Pope Osborne, Christmas in Camelot

2 : to show dislike or disapproval by hissing

3 : to say (something) in a loud or angry whisper “Keep your voice down!” he hissed.



Kids Definition of hiss (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sound like a long \s\ sometimes used as a sign of dislike or disapproval the hiss of steam The hiss from the audience became louder.

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Comments on hiss

What made you want to look up hiss? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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