whistle

A whistle is a small wind instrument, and you probably know people who are good at whistling without an instrument. Trains have whistles, and the wind whistles too. The world is full of whistles.

Whistle is a word with several meanings, but they have in common a similar high-pitched, airy sound. This is different from most instruments. You can't tuba without a tuba, but you can whistle without a whistle. Sometimes people's teeth make a whistling sound by accident. Referees and traffic cops carry whistles to get people's attention. Other people whistle for many reasons: because they're impressed, see something they like, or just want to say, "Hey you!"

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: whistle

1
nv
the sound made by something moving rapidly or by steam coming out of a small aperture
make a whining, ringing, or whistling sound
2
n
a small wind instrument that produces a whistling sound by blowing into it
3
v
move, send, or bring as if by whistling
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: whistle
1

n the sound made by something moving rapidly or by steam coming out of a small aperture

Synonyms:
whistling
Type of:
sound
the sudden occurrence of an audible event

n the act of signalling (e.g., summoning) by whistling or blowing a whistle

“the whistle signalled the end of the game”
Synonyms:
whistling
Type of:
sign, signal, signaling
any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message

n acoustic device that forces air or steam against an edge or into a cavity and so produces a loud shrill sound

Types:
boat whistle
a whistle on a boat that is sounded as a warning
factory whistle
a whistle at a factory that is sounded to announce times for starting or stopping work
steam whistle
a whistle in which the sound is produced by steam; usually attached to a steam boiler
Type of:
acoustic device
a device for amplifying or transmitting sound
signaling device
a device used to send signals

v make a whining, ringing, or whistling sound

Synonyms:
sing
Type of:
go, sound
make a certain noise or sound

v make whistling sounds

“He lay there, snoring and whistling
Type of:
go, sound
make a certain noise or sound

v utter or express by whistling

“She whistled a melody”
Type of:
communicate, intercommunicate
transmit thoughts or feelings

v give a signal by whistling

“She whistled for her maid”
Type of:
sign, signal, signalise, signalize
communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs
2

n a small wind instrument that produces a whistling sound by blowing into it

Type of:
wind, wind instrument
a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by an enclosed column of air that is moved by the breath

n an inexpensive fipple flute

Synonyms:
pennywhistle, tin whistle
Type of:
fipple flute, fipple pipe, recorder, vertical flute
a tubular wind instrument with 8 finger holes and a fipple mouthpiece
3

v move, send, or bring as if by whistling

“Her optimism whistled away these worries”
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v move with, or as with, a whistling sound

“The bullets whistled past him”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
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