pen·​ny·​whistle | \ ˈpe-nē-ˌ(h)wi-səl How to pronounce pennywhistle (audio) \

Definition of pennywhistle

1 : a small fipple flute
2 : a toy whistle

Examples of pennywhistle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ms. Sankoff and Mr. Hein, who wrote the music as well as the book and lyrics, know that there’s nothing like a steady Gaelic drumbeat and a lilting pennywhistle to turn a skeptical audience into Pavlov’s slobbering dogs. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Come From Away,’ a Canadian Embrace on a Grim Day," 12 Mar. 2017 But as Mr. de Blasio begins his campaign for re-election this year, his tone has become markedly more modest, and his trumpet more of a pennywhistle. J. David Goodman And William Neuman, New York Times, "Bill de Blasio’s ‘Vision’ Shrinks as His Re-election Campaign Begins," 1 Mar. 2017

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

First Known Use of pennywhistle

1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of pennywhistle was in 1730

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Cite this Entry

“Pennywhistle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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