wheeze

1 of 2

verb

wheezed; wheezing

intransitive verb

1
: to breathe with difficulty usually with a whistling sound
2
: to make a sound resembling that of wheezing
the bellows wheezed

wheeze

2 of 2

noun

1
: a sound of wheezing
2
a
: an often repeated and widely known joke used especially by entertainers
b
: a trite saying or proverb

Examples of wheeze in a Sentence

Verb He was up all night hacking and wheezing. The car's motor wheezed and stalled. Noun Between gasps and wheezes, he tried to explain what had happened. the wheeze of an engine We can count on him for a good wheeze.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
An asthmatic boy without an inhaler was wheezing in the acrid smoke from brush and trash fires, which had been lit for warmth. Emily Baumgaertner, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Social media might have a solution for cat lovers who can’t stop sneezing or wheezing around felines: farm-fresh eggs. Stephanie Brown, Verywell Health, 17 Nov. 2023 Guitars flutter, an accordion wheezes and a singer unwinds the triumphant tale of Fernando Ochoa Jauregui, a Modesto-area builder of food trucks and trailers. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 The byproducts of Nyad’s will, its proof — gurgles, gasps, wheezing — tell us to worry, for the voice is often taking on water. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 With a milk allergy, a person’s immune system overreacts, triggering symptoms from rashes to wheezing to anaphylaxis. About 2% of children in the U.S. have milk allergies, according to the Mayo Clinic, and while many outgrow them, some do not. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, 5 Feb. 2024 As polls found voters losing interest in Ron DeSantis, donors were showing his campaign the same thing, new federal campaign finance reports show, leaving him wheezing into the Iowa caucuses and heavily reliant on a super PAC that had already burned through most of its money. Max Greenwood, Miami Herald, 1 Feb. 2024 As Bear wheezes on the floor, Chili suddenly changes the subject: Chili: So . . . Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 The orchestra’s performance wheezed to a halt, much to the audience’s chagrin. Peter Vanham, Fortune Europe, 8 Nov. 2023
Noun
While children with a lower respiratory infection like RSV tend to wheeze, such noises may only be apparent to medical providers. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 22 Jan. 2024 The Lakers were 1-2 in consecutive games against Minnesota, Oklahoma City and Boston, closing out a rugged portion of the schedule with a wheeze. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 26 Dec. 2023 As a rookie in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kmet watched his team’s 5-1 start become an 8-8 wheeze followed by a lopsided playoff loss in New Orleans. Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune, 3 Sep. 2023 Acid reflux is a relatively uncommon cause for wheeze in children. Nicole Harris, Parents, 25 Aug. 2023 Even more annoying was that any exertion could trigger a strange, harsh-sounding wheeze. Lisa Sanders, M.d., New York Times, 6 Apr. 2023 The reassuring wheeze of an A/C unit. Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2021 NeeCee, the 5-year-old female snow leopard, was exhibiting minor respiratory symptoms, including a dry cough and wheeze, within the two weeks prior to her testing positive, according to zoo officials, who added she was likely infected by an asymptomatic staff member. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 9 July 2021 With that, Doyle gave out a snort-wheeze. Outdoor Life, 15 Dec. 2020

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English whesen, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hvæsa to hiss; akin to Old English hwǣst action of blowing, Sanskrit śvasiti he blows, snorts

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wheeze was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near wheeze

Cite this Entry

“Wheeze.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wheeze. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

wheeze

1 of 2 verb
ˈhwēz How to pronounce wheeze (audio)
ˈwēz
wheezed; wheezing
1
: to breathe with difficulty especially with a whistling sound
2
: to make a sound like wheezing

wheeze

2 of 2 noun
: a wheezing sound

Medical Definition

wheeze

1 of 2 intransitive verb
wheezed; wheezing
: to breathe with difficulty usually with a whistling sound

wheeze

2 of 2 noun
: a sibilant whistling sound caused by difficult or obstructed respiration

More from Merriam-Webster on wheeze

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