\ 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: Verb The Hawks appeared to take a 2-1 lead with 1:55 to go in regulation when Drake Caggiula whisted a puck by Halak off the rush, the Hawks attacking on a delayed penalty call. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, "Charlie McAvoy lifts Bruins to OT victory vs. Blackhawks," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "The trumpets sound Of all Sri Lanka’s conflicts, the one with elephants is the oldest," 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, "‘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 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

Time Traveler for whist

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for whist

Cite this Entry

“Whist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whist. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!