sibilate

When an audience is so angry or disapproving that they make a hissing sound, they sibilate. Little kids who are missing their front teeth often sibilate too.

You sibilate to some degree every time you pronounce the letter s — the hissing sound itself is called sibilance, or described as sibilant. When your friend tries to catch your attention in the library by saying, "Psst!" she sibilates. And the librarian sibilates too, when he angrily shushes her with a loud "Shhh!" Sibilate comes from the Latin sibilare, "to hiss or whistle."

Definitions of sibilate
  1. verb
    make a sharp hissing sound, as if to show disapproval
    synonyms: hiss, siss, sizz
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    type of:
    emit, let loose, let out, utter
    express audibly; utter sounds (not necessarily words)
  2. verb
    utter a sibilant
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    types:
    assibilate
    insert a sibilant sound before or after (another sound)
    type of:
    emit, let loose, let out, utter
    express audibly; utter sounds (not necessarily words)
  3. verb
    express or utter with a hiss
    synonyms: hiss, siss, sizz
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    type of:
    mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize
    express in speech
  4. verb
    pronounce with an initial sibilant
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    type of:
    articulate, enounce, enunciate, pronounce, say, sound out
    speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
Word Family