whis·​tler | \ ˈhwi-s(ə-)lər How to pronounce whistler (audio) , ˈwi-\

Definition of whistler

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one that whistles: such as
a : 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
b : a large marmot (Marmota caligata) of northwestern North America having a shrill alarm call
c : a broken-winded horse
d : 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


biographical name
Whis·​tler | \ ˈhwi-slər How to pronounce Whistler (audio) , ˈwi-\

Definition of Whistler (Entry 2 of 3)

James (Abbott) McNeill 1834–1903 American painter and etcher


geographical name
Whis·​tler | \ ˈ(h)wi-s(ə-)lər How to pronounce Whistler (audio) \

Definition of Whistler (Entry 3 of 3)

municipality and resort noted for its ski slopes in the Coast Ranges of southern British Columbia, Canada population 9824

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from whistler

Biographical name

Whistlerian \ hwi-​ˈslir-​ē-​ən How to pronounce Whistlerian (audio) , wi-​ \ adjective

Examples of whistler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Singer-songwriter-violinist-master whistler Andrew Bird is 45. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 11 July 2018 Produced by another two-time world champion whistler, Carole Anne Kaufman, the Masters of Musical Whistling seeks to crown the next global leader of this underappreciated niche art form. Jessica Gelt, latimes.com, "Whistle a happy tune at the Masters of Musical Whistling competition," 7 Sep. 2017 The wry, literate and charming Glaswegian indie-pop band led by Stuart Murdoch return to Fairmount Park, with former Squirrel Nut Zipper Bird, a singer, violinist and expert whistler who’s pretty charming himself. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Dan DeLuca's Mix Picks: Queen + Adam Lambert, Rozwell Kid and Belle & Sebastian, plus 'Equipment For Living'," 27 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whistler.' 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 whistler


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whistler

Statistics for whistler

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whistler

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

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on whistler

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whistler

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whistler

Comments on whistler

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


to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!