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!"

Definitions of whistle
  1. noun
    the sound made when someone forces breath through pursed lips
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    type of:
    utterance, vocalization
    the use of uttered sounds for auditory communication
  2. noun
    the sound made by something moving rapidly or by steam coming out of a small aperture
    synonyms: whistling
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    type of:
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  3. noun
    the act of signalling (e.g., summoning) by whistling or blowing a whistle
    “the whistle signalled the end of the game”
    synonyms: whistling
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    type of:
    sign, signal, signaling
    any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message
  4. noun
    acoustic device that forces air or steam against an edge or into a cavity and so produces a loud shrill sound
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    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
  5. verb
    make a whining, ringing, or whistling sound
    synonyms: sing
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    type of:
    go, sound
    make a certain noise or sound
  6. verb
    make whistling sounds
    “He lay there, snoring and whistling
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    type of:
    go, sound
    make a certain noise or sound
  7. verb
    utter or express by whistling
    “She whistled a melody”
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    type of:
    communicate, intercommunicate
    transmit thoughts or feelings
  8. verb
    give a signal by whistling
    “She whistled for her maid”
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    type of:
    sign, signal, signalise, signalize
    communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs
  9. noun
    a small wind instrument that produces a whistling sound by blowing into it
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    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
  10. noun
    an inexpensive fipple flute
    synonyms: pennywhistle, tin whistle
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    type of:
    fipple flute, fipple pipe, recorder, vertical flute
    a tubular wind instrument with 8 finger holes and a fipple mouthpiece
  11. verb
    move, send, or bring as if by whistling
    “Her optimism whistled away these worries”
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    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  12. verb
    move with, or as with, a whistling sound
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    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
Word Family
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