Definition of “whistle” - English Dictionary

“whistle” in English

See all translations


uk /ˈwɪs.əl/ us /ˈwɪs.əl/

B2 [ I or T ] to make a high sound by forcing air through a small hole or passage, especially through the lips, or through a special device held to the lips:

He whistled as he worked.
On the days when she wore a skirt the men on the building site would whistle at her.
Someone was whistling Beatles tunes outside my window.
The referee whistled and the game was over.

[ I + adv/prep ] to make a long, high sound while moving quickly through or past something:

She heard the wind whistling through the trees and the howl of a distant wolf.
I stepped out of the building and immediately a bullet whistled past my head.

[ I ] When birds whistle, they sing in high musical notes:

The birds were whistling in the early morning quiet.

More examples

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-fashioned steam train.
She listened to the whistle of the wind through the trees.

an object that you hold to your lips 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

See all translations

whistleverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈhwɪs·əl, ˈwɪs-/

to make a musical sound by forcing the breath through a small passage between the lips or through a special device:

[ 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)