- 1 [transitive, intransitive] to make a high sound or a musical tune by forcing your breath out when your lips are closed whistle (something) to whistle a tune He whistled in amazement. The crowd booed and whistled as the player came onto the field. whistle to somebody/something She whistled to the dog to come back. whistle at somebody/something Workmen whistled at her as she walked past. He whistled at the sheer audacity of the plan.
- 2 [intransitive] to make a high sound by blowing into a whistle The referee whistled for a foul.
- 3 [intransitive] (of a kettle or other machine) to make a high sound The kettle began to whistle. The microphone was making a strange whistling sound. The train whistled and shot into the tunnel.
- 4[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move quickly, making a high sound The wind whistled down the chimney. A bullet whistled past his ear.
- 5[intransitive] (of a bird) to make a high sound Word Origin Old English (h)wistlian (verb), (h)wistle (noun), of Germanic origin; imitative and related to Swedish vissla
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BrE BrE//ˈwɪsl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪsl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they whistle
BrE BrE//ˈwɪsl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪsl//he / she / it whistles
BrE BrE//ˈwɪslz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪslz//past simple whistled
BrE BrE//ˈwɪsld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪsld//past participle whistled
BrE BrE//ˈwɪsld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪsld//-ing form whistling
BrE BrE//ˈwɪslɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɪslɪŋ//