\ ˈ(h)wist How to pronounce whist (audio) \
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: Adjective 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 In 1902, 12 years after first playing whist with Isabel, Twain hired her. Marie Lavendier, courant.com, 29 Apr. 2018 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, 24 Aug. 2017 See More

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.

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

Learn More About whist

Time Traveler for whist

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near whist



whist drive

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for whist

Cite this Entry

“Whist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whist. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on whist

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whist


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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