• The magician's wife whistles to the parrot
    The magician's wife whistles to the parrot
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v whistle utter or express by whistling "She whistled a melody"
    • v whistle give a signal by whistling "She whistled for her maid"
    • v whistle make a whining, ringing, or whistling sound "the kettle was singing","the bullet sang past his ear"
    • v whistle move with, or as with, a whistling sound "The bullets whistled past him"
    • v whistle move, send, or bring as if by whistling "Her optimism whistled away these worries"
    • v whistle make whistling sounds "He lay there, snoring and whistling"
    • n whistle an inexpensive fipple flute
    • n whistle acoustic device that forces air or steam against an edge or into a cavity and so produces a loud shrill sound
    • n whistle a small wind instrument that produces a whistling sound by blowing into it
    • n whistle the act of signalling (e.g., summoning) by whistling or blowing a whistle "the whistle signalled the end of the game"
    • n whistle the sound made by something moving rapidly or by steam coming out of a small aperture
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The blue whale is the loudest animal on the earth. Its whistle can reach up to 188 decibels
    • Whistle A sharp, shrill, more or less musical sound, made by forcing the breath through a small orifice of the lips, or through or instrument which gives a similar sound; the sound used by a sportsman in calling his dogs; the shrill note of a bird; as, the sharp whistle of a boy, or of a boatswain's pipe; the blackbird's mellow whistle . "Might we but hear
      The folded flocks, penned in their wattled cotes, . . . Or whistle from the lodge."
      "The countryman could not forbear smiling, . . . and by that means lost his whistle .""They fear his whistle , and forsake the seas."
    • Whistle An instrument in which gas or steam forced into a cavity, or against a thin edge, produces a sound more or less like that made by one who whistles through the compressed lips; as, a child's whistle; a boatswain's whistle; a steam whistlesee Steam whistle, under Steam . "The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew."
    • Whistle The mouth and throat; -- so called as being the organs of whistling. "So was her jolly whistle well ywet.""Let's drink the other cup to wet our whistles ."
    • Whistle The shrill sound made by wind passing among trees or through crevices, or that made by bullet, or the like, passing rapidly through the air; the shrill noise (much used as a signal, etc.) made by steam or gas escaping through a small orifice, or impinging against the edge of a metallic bell or cup.
    • Whistle To form, utter, or modulate by whistling; as, to whistle a tune or an air.
    • Whistle To make a kind of musical sound, or series of sounds, by forcing the breath through a small orifice formed by contracting the lips; also, to emit a similar sound, or series of notes, from the mouth or beak, as birds. "The weary plowman leaves the task of day,
      And, trudging homeward, whistles on the way."
    • Whistle To make a shrill sound with a wind or steam instrument, somewhat like that made with the lips; to blow a sharp, shrill tone.
    • Whistle To send, signal, or call by a whistle. "He chanced to miss his dog; we stood still till he had whistled him up.""I 'ld whistle her off , and let her down the wind
      To prey at fortune."
    • Whistle To sound shrill, or like a pipe; to make a sharp, shrill sound; as, a bullet whistles through the air. "The wild winds whistle , and the billows roar."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Before soccer referees started using whistles in 1878, they used to rely on waving a handkerchief
    • whistle To utter a kind of musical sound by forcing the breath through a small orifice formed by contracting the lips.
    • whistle To emit a warbling or sharp, chirping sound or song, as a bird.
    • whistle To sound shrill or sharp; move or rush with shrill or whizzing sound.
    • whistle To sound a whistle or similar wind- or steam-instrument: as, locomotives whistle at crossings.
    • whistle To give information by whistling; hence, to become informer.
    • whistle An Australian bird, Colluricincla (or Collurocincla or Collyriocincla) harmonica, the harmonic thrush of Latham, usually placed in the family Laniidæ, now in the Prionopidœ, or another of this genus, as the Tasmanian C. rectirostris (C. selbyi). The species named are 9½ to 10 inches long, chiefly of a gray color varied with brown and white.
    • whistle Same as whistlewing.
    • whistle Same as whistling coot.
    • whistle See snipe 1 .
    • whistle In the United States, the common American swan, Cygnus amcricanus or columbianus, as distinguished from the trumpeter, C. (Olor) buccinator.
    • whistle To form, utter, or modulate by whistling: as, to whistle a tune or air.
    • whistle To call, direct, or signal bv or as by a whistle.
    • whistle To send with a whistling sound.
    • n whistle A more or less piercing or sharp sound produced by forcing the breath through a small orifice formed by contracting the lips: as, the merry whistle of a boy.
    • n whistle Any similar sound. Especially— The shrill note of a bird.
    • n whistle A sound made by the wind blowing through branches of trees, the rigging of a vessel, etc., or by a flying missile.
    • n whistle A call or signal made by whistling.
    • n whistle An instrument or apparatus for producing a whistling sound. Whistles are of various shapes and sizes, but they all utilize the principle of the direct flute or flageolet—that of a stream of air so directed through a tube as to impinge on a sharp edge.
    • n whistle Specifically.
    • n whistle The small pipe used in signaling, etc., by boatswains, huntsmen, policemen, etc.
    • n whistle A small tin or wooden tube, fitted with a mouthpiece and pierced generally with six holes, used as a musical toy. Often called a penny whistle. See flageolet.
    • n whistle An instrument sounded by escaping steam, used for giving signals, alarms, etc., on railway-engines, steamships, etc. Sec cuts under steam-whistle and passenger-engine.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: At 188 decibels, the whistle of the blue whale is the loudest sound produced by any animal.
    • v.i Whistle hwis′l to make a shrill sound by forcing the breath through the lips contracted: to make a like sound with an instrument: to sound shrill: to inform by whistling, to become informer
    • v.t Whistle to form or utter by whistling: to call by a whistle
    • n Whistle the sound made in whistling: a small wind instrument: an instrument sounded by escaping steam, used for signalling on railway-engines, steamships, &c
    • ***


  • Diogenes of Sinope
    Diogenes of Sinope
    “Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves, whistle and dance the shimmy, and you've got an audience.”
  • Aneurin Bevan
    “He seems determined to make a trumpet sound like a tin whistle.”
  • Oliver Goldsmith
    “He cast off his friends as a huntsman his pack, for he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.”
  • (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal
    (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal
    “A man who has nothing can whistle in a robber's face.”
  • Doug Larson
    Doug Larson
    “Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”


Bells and whistles - Bells and whistles are attractive features that things like computer programs have, though often a bit unnecessary.
Blow the whistle - If somebody blows the whistle on a plan, they report it to the authorities.
Clean as a whistle - If something is as clean as a whistle, it is extremely clean, spotless. It can also be used to mean 'completely', though this meaning is less common nowadays. If somebody is clean as a whistle, they are not involved in anything illegal.
Dog-whistle politics - (AU) When political parties have policies that will appeal to racists while not being overtly racist, they are indulging in dog-whistle politics.
Wet your whistle - If you are thirsty and have an alcoholic drink, you wet your whistle. "Whet your whistle" is also used.
Whistle down the wind - If you whistle down the wind, you abandon, send away or leave something or someone.
Whistle for it - If someone says that you can whistle for something, they are determined to ensure that you don't get it.
Whistle-stop tour - A whistle-stop tour is when someone visits a number of places quickly, not stopping for long.
Whistling Dixie - (USA) If someone is whistling Dixie, they talk about things in a more positive way than the reality.
Whistling in the dark - If someone is whistling in the dark, they believe in a positive result, even though everybody else is sure it will not happen.
Whistling past the graveyard - (USA) If someone is whistling past the graveyard, they are trying to remain cheerful in difficult circumstances. ('Whistling past the cemetery' is also used.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. hwistlian,; akin to Sw. hvissla, Dan. hvisle, Icel. hvīsla, to whisper, and E. whisper,. √43. See Whisper


In literature:

I then came home, and went whistling over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family.
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various
And though the doctor called and called and whistled himself hoarse, Zip did not come back.
"Zip, the Adventures of a Frisky Fox Terrier" by Frances Trego Montgomery
Whence came that ominous, unearthly whistle?
"Curious, if True" by Elizabeth Gaskell
I called to him, I whistled, but in vain.
"Nobody's Boy" by Hector Malot
The wind rose again, and whistled around the little town and shrieked far out on the lonely prairie.
"The Candidate" by Joseph Alexander Altsheler
We had the best whistle in college.
"At Good Old Siwash" by George Fitch
He even deigned to whistle as he went down the path to the street.
"The Flag" by Homer Greene
A short distance from the depot Alex was halted by a long, muffled whistle from the east.
"The Young Railroaders" by Francis Lovell Coombs
A boy in front led the horses, and whistled.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
He'll gie you the whistle o' your groat.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop

In poetry:

Good-bye, my girl that grieved me.
The bugles whistled, Come.
And I, -- stepped in the roadway
And marched beside the drum.
"The New Recruit" by Katharine Tynan
Over Hill and over hollow,
Shunning wide the lighted towns,
Faster still, the twilight deepens,
Till you whistle o'er the downs.
"The Four Winds" by R S Ward
For the loud bugle, pealing high,
The blackbird whistles down the vale,
And sunk in ivied ruins lie
The banner'd towers of Evandale.
"Cadyow Castle" by Sir Walter Scott
I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
"Suicide In The Trenches" by Siegfried Sassoon
The bird that whistles for his mate,
A low sweet whistle half-aloud;
The lark that sings in lonely state
Far up upon his throne of cloud.
"A Border Keep" by Alexander Anderson
It is long since I bid it all good-bye,
With young light-hearted disdain;
I remember who stood at the door that day;
Her tears fell fast as the rain;
And I whistled a tune and waved my hand,
But never went back again.
"The Rover" by Virna Sheard

In news:

Seconds remain to the final whistle.
When the final whistle blew, Mifflin County claimed a 3-0 victory in the Commonwealth Division contest.
I even was at a baseball game many years ago where a champion whistler whistled the song.
Tennessee offensive linemen Jake Scott and Michael Roos said a whistle was being blown in the area of the Saints' bench late in New Orleans' 22-17 victory against the Titans.
Wet those whistles in Charlotte.
I don't remember any girls being unable to whistle , yet I read recently that only about 16 percent of females nowadays can whistle .
My brother Jack and I whistled in the back seat of the car on long trips, seeing who could whistle the loudest and hold our whistle the longest.
Galaxy is whistling a happy tune these days.
A Whistlingly Good Top 10.
Bells and whistles dominated the booths at the industry show.
Starkville Academy football coach Jeff Terrill (middle with whistle) hopes having one extra day to prepare for Lamar School will help when the two teams play at 7:30 pm (Kim Murrell/SDN).
Plus your nose is whistling.
She belonged to the Whistling Water clan and a Whistling Water child.
Don't deny it: Everyone who is looking to buy a house has an idea of what that dream home will look like and all the bells and whistles it will have inside.

In science:

The ideas used in this section reappear in Sections 4.3 and 4.4 with many more bells and whistles. p .
Presentations of finite simple groups: a quantitative approach
Example 5 The Wikileaks whistle blowing site is about to uncover yet another state secret.
Causality, Knowledge and Coordination in Distributed Systems
It is general what we remember and whistle and hum.
Music in Terms of Science
This method is used on the trombone and the slide whistle. • Making the air column vibrate at desired harmonics without changing the physical length of the column of air.
Music in Terms of Science
The other three forms are known as vocal fry, falsetto, and whistle.
Music in Terms of Science