whis·​tler ˈ(h)wi-s(ə-)lər How to pronounce whistler (audio)
: one that whistles: such as
: any of various birds
especially : any of numerous oscine birds (especially genus Pachycephala) found chiefly in Australia and South Pacific islands and having a whistling call
: a large marmot (Marmota caligata) of northwestern North America having a shrill alarm call
: a broken-winded horse
: a very-low-frequency radio signal that is generated by lightning discharge, travels along the earth's magnetic-field lines, and produces a sound resembling a whistle of descending pitch in radio receivers

Examples of whistler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the Lips [Jagjaguwar] Molly Lewis, a whistler, has applied her talents to everything from Weyes Blood support slots to high-fashion shows and the Barbie soundtrack. Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 16 Feb. 2024 Lewis, who is thirty-three, is a professional whistler. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 The whistler may pucker the lips, finger whistle, or blow into a leaf or a simple wood flute. Julien Meyer, Scientific American, 22 Nov. 2016 Just as in ordinary speech, the whistler’s tongue and jaw move to form different words, but the range of movement is more constrained. Julien Meyer, Scientific American, 22 Nov. 2016 The whistler forms consonants in either language class by modulating how abruptly the sound is altered when changing from one pitch to another. Julien Meyer, Scientific American, 22 Nov. 2016 But the event, which was scheduled at the same time as the Jan. 6 select committee's first hearing, never really got off the ground because the members of Congress were drowned out by a small group of protesters, including one very persistant whistler. Tim O'Donnell, The Week, 27 July 2021 Do the signature whistles carry information besides the identity of the whistler? Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 29 Feb. 2012 Wittgenstein was also a virtuoso whistler, and could whistle perfectly whole symphony movements. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whistler was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near whistler

Cite this Entry

“Whistler.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whistler. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Whis·​tler ˈ(h)wi-s(ə-)lər How to pronounce Whistler (audio)
municipality and resort noted for its ski slopes in the Coast Ranges of southern British Columbia, Canada population 9824

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Whis·​tler ˈ(h)wi-slər How to pronounce Whistler (audio)
James (Abbott) McNeill 1834–1903 American painter and etcher
Whistlerian adjective

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