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

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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 As the rumbling engine wheezed to a stop, a hush fell over the bus’ interior, and its quivering floor suddenly stopped vibrating. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Muni tries to tackle environmental justice with new SF green bus zones," 2 Oct. 2019 The two duked it out for a round, with the larger Trafton holding the edge, then danced and wheezed for the remainder of the fight. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 28, George Trafton," 8 Aug. 2019 Special economic zones and tax reform are among the wheezes his wonks propose. The Economist, "Guatemala’s president-elect promises “sufficient testosterone”," 15 Aug. 2019 As the living, wheezing Ailes, Crowe carries the weight in different styles, to vary the mood. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "“The Loudest Voice” Eviscerates Roger Ailes and Fox News," 30 June 2019 With VanVleet blanketing Curry like a cornerback on a wide receiver, the Warriors’ attack wheezed, pushing its scoreless stretch to more than 5½ minutes. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "What the Raptors’ Game 2 box-and-one zone says about the Warriors," 4 June 2019 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 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 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There needs to be international cooperation to fight corporate wheezes. Washington Post, "Ireland’s ‘Bono’ Tax Defense Is a Tired Old Tune," 30 Sep. 2019 Others worry that the bankruptcy is a financial wheeze which lets the company and its owners off too easily. The Economist, "Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy," 16 Sep. 2019 Team Johnson has since floated a number of wheezes to circumvent this, from requesting that a friendly EU member state vetoes the request, thereby guaranteeing a no-deal Brexit, or simply ignoring the instruction. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Boris Johnson is trapped in a Brexit prison he helped build," 14 Sep. 2019 The latest wheeze is charging fans 400 rupees to meet him. The Economist, "This Indian TikTok star wants you to know his name," 13 Sep. 2019 The latest wheeze is charging fans 400 rupees (£4.60) to meet him. Snigdha Poonam, 1843, "This Indian TikTok star wants you to know his name," 12 Sep. 2019 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

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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Statistics for wheeze

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce wheeze (audio)

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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Comments on wheeze

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