wheeze

verb
\ ˈhwēz How to pronounce wheeze (audio) , ˈwēz\
wheezed; wheezing

Definition of wheeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

noun

Definition of wheeze (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for wheeze

Synonyms: Verb

blow, gasp, heave, hyperventilate, pant, puff

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Other symptoms of congestive heart failure include a rapid or irregular heartbeat, a persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink phlegm, an increased need to pee at night, difficulty concentrating, and chest pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "13 Surprising Medical Conditions That Can Cause Weight Gain or Loss (and When to Go to the Doctor)," 12 Nov. 2018 In Hell’s Kitchen on Manhattan’s West Side, kids are indeed learning to play the bagpipes—wheezing their way through traditional marches, jigs and hornpipes. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Bagpipes or Urdu? After-School Options Multiply," 23 Oct. 2018 As lunch nears, the cutting boards patter, the steamers wheeze, but nothing ever roars above the woks. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 Amir began wheezing at night — once so badly that an ambulance was called — and woke up most mornings to find his eyes swollen shut with rheum. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "Lawmaker calls for delaying demolition near D.C. General until shelter residents are out," 9 July 2018 In the wee hours of the medieval night, a monk begins to wheeze and cry in fear. Veronique Greenwood, Scientific American, "How Gene Expression Runs on a Clock--And What It Means for Medical Treatments," 19 June 2018 About 30 cadets stepped out of big vans and at least one wheezed at the stench. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Police search landfill for bag they say was dumped by man accused of killing 20-year-old woman," 18 June 2018 In the nadir of the 1970s, choked by smog regulations and forced to contend with unleaded gasoline, manufacturers built massive V8s that wheezed. Blake Z. Rong, Popular Mechanics, "​​The Evolution of the Combustion Engine​​," 5 June 2018 After watching his team clank and wheeze in the first half against the Rockets, punctuated by a fumble-finger Green pass to a surprised fan in the third row, Kerr called a timeout. Michael Powell, New York Times, "You Knew the Warriors Were Coming Back. The Rockets Did, Too.," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But while the category recognized such hard rock leading lights as Metallica and Jane's Addiction, the award ended up going to Crest of a Knave, the 16th album from prog-rock wheeze kids Jethro Tull. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, "60 Grammys, 60 Moments: The Greatest Moment From Every Grammys Ceremony So Far," 26 Jan. 2018 The answer is not, as is suggested now, including by some at National Review, ‘a return to congressional government.’ That is a fraud and merely the latest wheeze of the never-Trumpers. Conrad Black, National Review, "As the Mockery Dwindles," 6 Sep. 2017 The new performances up the intensity, which is only further heightened by the nasty rasp and sinister wheeze that age has visited upon Lunch’s voice. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Postpunk chanteuse Lydia Lunch sounds more vital than ever fronting the career-spanning Retrovirus," 13 July 2017 Or is this all just a teenage wheeze to escape boredom? Tony Lacy-thompson, The Mercury News, "Eight short plays add up to a fine time at the theater," 18 May 2017 Perhaps the best known of these was the John Birch Society, founded in 1958 as a dying wheeze of McCarthyism. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, "His Kampf," 14 May 2017 The coughs to clear my throat became involuntary and more violent, with the whistling rattle of a wheeze. Vann R. Newkirk Ii, The Atlantic, "How to Beat Asthma," 5 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wheeze.' 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 wheeze

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wheeze

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

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Dictionary Entries near wheeze

wheely

wheen

wheeple

wheeze

wheezingly

wheezle

wheezy

Statistics for wheeze

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Time Traveler for wheeze

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

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More Definitions for wheeze

wheeze

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wheeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to breathe loudly and with difficulty
: to make a sound like a person who is breathing with difficulty

wheeze

noun

English Language Learners Definition of wheeze (Entry 2 of 2)

: the sound made by a person who is having difficulty breathing or a similar sound : the sound of wheezing
British, informal : a clever idea or joke

wheeze

verb
\ ˈhwēz How to pronounce wheeze (audio) , ˈwēz\
wheezed; wheezing

Kids Definition of wheeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to breathe with difficulty and usually with a whistling sound
2 : to make a whistling sound like someone having difficulty breathing

wheeze

noun

Kids Definition of wheeze (Entry 2 of 2)

: a whistling sound like that made by someone having difficulty breathing
\ ˈhwēz How to pronounce wheeze (audio) , ˈwēz How to pronounce wheeze (audio) \
wheezed; wheezing

Medical Definition of wheeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to breathe with difficulty usually with a whistling sound

wheeze

noun

Medical Definition of wheeze (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sibilant whistling sound caused by difficult or obstructed respiration

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More from Merriam-Webster on wheeze

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wheeze

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wheeze

Spanish Central: Translation of wheeze

Nglish: Translation of wheeze for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wheeze for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wheeze

Comments on wheeze

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