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whisted; whisting; whists

intransitive verb

dialectal British
: to be silent : hush
often used interjectionally to enjoin silence


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: a card game for four players in two partnerships that is played with a pack of 52 cards and that scores one point for each trick in excess of six

Examples of whist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Bid whist, for our generation, was the national Black pastime. Robin Rose Parker, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2022 Celebrate with free bowling (first come, first serve), DJ Always, DJ Slikk, NBA playoffs on TV, spades and bid whist tournament. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, 12 Jan. 2022
Enjoy comedy shows and old school hip-hop foam parties as well as fun and games with a Black twist like bid whist, gospel brunches, dominoes, sorority step competitions and more. Essence, 30 Jan. 2024 Most have been playing for decades, having honed their skills at Black colleges, starting with Spades and bid whist, two games that are uniquely Black in their use of language and aggressive playing styles. Ernie Suggs, ajc, 19 Feb. 2023 And the series opens with four people playing bid whist. Robin Rose Parker, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2022 Compounding the problem, cheating was for decades a taboo subject in the genteel, tiny community of elite bridge — a game that evolved from 19th-century whist and was modified by a Vanderbilt on a yacht in 1925. Alan Yuhas, New York Times, 26 Oct. 2021 An enthusiastic player of bid whist — a card game often compared to spades — Clark joined in tournaments, near and far. Donna St. George, Washington Post, 1 July 2020 And in the middle of his paddy, seated around embers that are boiling a kettle, Lalith and friends are playing a furious card game that resembles whist. The Economist, 27 Feb. 2020 Having left her 1-year-old daughter, Millicent, in Washington with her parents, Mabel solaced herself with the bustle of dinners, carriage rides, musicales and games of whist mainly organized by the town’s eminent couple, Susan and Austin Dickinson. Brenda Wineapple, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2018 Activities include a bid whist card tournament, games on the beach, free health testing and voter registration, plus a killer lineup of live music including DJ TJaye with rappers Cakes Da Killa and Cor. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, 24 Aug. 2017 See More

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

Word History



Middle English; imitative


alteration of earlier whisk, probably from whisk entry 2; from whisking up the tricks

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1663, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whist was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near whist

Cite this Entry

“Whist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whist. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a card game for four players in two partnerships

More from Merriam-Webster on whist

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