\ ˈhwist How to pronounce whist (audio) , ˈwist\
whisted; whisting; whists

Definition of whist

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

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



Definition of whist (Entry 2 of 3)



Definition of whist (Entry 3 of 3)

: 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: Noun

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, "‘After Emily’ Review: The Belles of Amherst," 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, "5 things to do in Chicago this weekend," 24 Aug. 2017 In 1902, 12 years after first playing whist with Isabel, Twain hired her. Marie Lavendier, courant.com, "The Lioness And The King: Was Mark Twain's Secretary A Treasure? Or 'A Salacious Slut'?," 29 Apr. 2018 Contract bridge has been around for more than 100 in the U.S., dating back to the early 20th century evolving from an earlier game called whist that was played in Great Britain in the 1800s. Martin E. Comas, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando North bridge club grows in popularity," 17 Sep. 2017 Mr. Henry enjoyed attending jazz concerts and playing the card games bid whist and pinochle at the Willingboro Senior Center with his friend Mary Churchill. Bonnie L. Cook, Philly.com, "William A. Henry Sr., 85, U.S. Army veteran and retired security officer," 24 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of whist


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1663, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for whist


Middle English; imitative


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whist

Statistics for whist

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whist

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whist



English Language Learners Definition of whist

: a type of card game for two teams of two players each

More from Merriam-Webster on whist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whist

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whist

Comments on whist

What made you want to look up whist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!