whistle Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “whistle” in the English Dictionary

"whistle" in British English

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whistleverb

uk   /ˈwɪs.əl/  us   /ˈwɪs.əl/
B2 [I or T] to make a high ​sound by ​forcingair through a ​smallhole or ​passage, ​especially through the ​lips, or through a ​specialdeviceheld to the ​lips: He whistled as he ​worked. On the ​days when she ​wore a ​skirt the men on the ​buildingsite would whistle at her. Someone was whistling Beatles ​tunesoutside my ​window. The ​referee whistled and the ​game was over.
[I + adv/prep] to make a ​long, high ​sound while ​movingquickly through or past something: She ​heard the ​wind whistling through the ​trees and the ​howl of a ​distantwolf. I ​stepped out of the ​building and ​immediately a ​bullet whistled past my ​head.
[I] When ​birds whistle, they ​sing in high ​musicalnotes: The ​birds were whistling in the early ​morningquiet.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • He whistled to ​call his ​dogs.
  • She always whistles in the ​bath.
  • He was whistling a ​merrytune.

whistlenoun [C]

uk   /ˈwɪs.əl/  us   /ˈwɪs.əl/
B2 the ​sound made by someone or something whistling: I ​recognized my father's ​tuneless whistle. It ​sounded like the whistle of an ​old-fashionedsteamtrain. She ​listened to the whistle of the ​wind through the ​trees.
an ​object that you ​hold to ​yourlips and ​blow through in ​order to make a ​loud, high ​sound: The ​referee blew his whistle for ​half-time.
(Definition of whistle from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"whistle" in American English

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whistleverb [I/T]

 us   /ˈhwɪs·əl, ˈwɪs-/
to make a ​musicalsound by ​forcing the ​breath through a ​smallpassage between the ​lips or through a ​specialdevice: [I] I whistled to my ​dog and she came ​running back. [I] fig.The ​wind whistled through the ​trees.

whistlenoun [C]

 us   /ˈhwɪs·əl, ˈwɪs-/
A whistle is also a ​device that makes a ​loud, high ​sound when you ​blow into it.
(Definition of whistle from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“whistle” in British English

“whistle” in American English

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