whistle

EnglishEdit

 
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A whistle (1)
 
W for whistle on a US whistle post

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English whistlen, from Old English hwistlan, hwistlian (to whistle), from Proto-Germanic *hwistlōną (to make a hissing sound). Cognate with Icelandic hvísla (to whisper), Russian свистеть (svistetʹ, to whistle).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /wɪsl̩/, /ʍɪsl̩/
  • Rhymes: -ɪsəl
  • (file)

NounEdit

whistle (countable and uncountable, plural whistles)

  1. A device designed to be placed in the mouth and blown, or driven by steam or some other mechanism, to make a whistling sound.
    • 1961 March, "Balmore", “Driving and firing modern French steam locomotives”, in Trains Illustrated, page 151:
      One thing I took great care to observe was obedience to the "whistle" boards which crop up with great frequency, for failure to sound the whistle, if observed by the gendarmerie, can bring about serious consequences.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, pages 61-62:
      [...] and Temple station, which had to have a very modestly proportioned station building on the insistence of the Duke of Norfolk who owned the land on which it was built, and where the trains under the glass roof of the station were not allowed to blow their whistles, at the insistence of the barristers in the nearby Inns of Court.
  2. An act of whistling.
  3. A shrill, high-pitched sound made by whistling.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      We expressed our readiness, and in ten minutes were in the station wagon, rolling rapidly down the long drive, for it was then after nine. [] As we reached the lodge we heard the whistle, and we backed up against one side of the platform as the train pulled up at the other.
  4. Any high-pitched sound similar to the sound made by whistling.
    the whistle of the wind in the trees
  5. (Cockney rhyming slang) A suit (from whistle and flute).
    • 2005, Wally Payne, A Minority of One: A Monkey's Tale Continued:
      We soldiers changed into our No.1 dress uniforms, Sid into his best whistle and we set off for the church.
  6. (colloquial) The mouth and throat; so called as being the organs of whistling.
    • (Can we date this quote by Walton and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Let's drink the other cup to wet our whistles.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

VerbEdit

whistle (third-person singular simple present whistles, present participle whistling, simple past and past participle whistled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To make a shrill, high-pitched sound by forcing air through the mouth. To produce a whistling sound, restrictions to the flow of air are created using the teeth, tongue and lips.
    Never whistle at a funeral.
    She was whistling a happy tune.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To make a similar sound by forcing air through a musical instrument or a pipe etc.
    The stream train whistled as it passed by.
  3. (intransitive) To move in such a way as to create a whistling sound.
    A bullet whistled past.
  4. (transitive) To send, signal, or call by a whistle.

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from the verb whistle

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit

AnagramsEdit