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

Example Sentences

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 babies love basking in the sun; others hiss like Nosferatu. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Apr. 2022 Nesting geese will hiss at people or fly toward their heads, attacks that can be unnerving, particularly for those who aren’t familiar with the behavior. Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, 11 Nov. 2022 Sun to shine hot, for the sea to seethe, For the path of the dead to be hid, Holly to hiss in the fire, for the things Of the dead to be given. Richard O'connell, National Review, 15 Sep. 2022 The two share similar tan and brown colorings, and gopher snakes will often hiss or vibrate their tails when threatened, according to the wildlife division. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2022 Fat king oyster mushrooms are trimmed, then painted with olive oil before being sent screaming into a hot skillet to brown and hiss off their moisture. Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2021 Lacy and Daddario have the toughest roles, and White and the actors do an impressive job of not giving us easy cues about when to hiss at Shane’s selfishness, or root for Rachel’s yearning to be independent. oregonlive, 7 July 2021 Sensing the commotion and chaos, Aries began to hiss and growl. Brett Steenbarger, Forbes, 20 May 2021 But imagine trying to plead your case before a judge while your phone cuts in and out, your kids wail in the background, or library patrons hiss shhhh. Eric Scigliano, The Atlantic, 13 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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 22 Mar. 2023.

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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