Meaning of WHISTLE in English

n. & v.


1. a clear shrill sound made by forcing breath through a small hole between nearly closed lips.

2 a similar sound made by a bird, the wind, a missile, etc.

3 an instrument used to produce such a sound.


1. intr. emit a whistle.

2 a intr. give a signal or express surprise or derision by whistling. b tr. (often foll. by up) summon or give a signal to (a dog etc.) by whistling.

3 tr. (also absol.) produce (a tune) by whistling.

4 intr. (foll. by for) vainly seek or desire.

Phrases and idioms:

as clean (or clear or dry) as a whistle very clean or clear or dry. blow the whistle on colloq. bring (an activity) to an end; inform on (those responsible). whistle down the wind

1. let go, abandon.

2 turn (a hawk) loose. whistle in the dark pretend to be unafraid.


1. US a small unimportant town on a railway.

2 a politician's brief pause for an electioneering speech on tour.

3 (attrib.) with brief pauses (a whistle-stop tour). whistling kettle a kettle fitted with a whistle sounded by steam when the kettle is boiling.

Etymology: OE (h)wistlian (v.), (h)wistle (n.) of imit. orig.: cf. ON hv{iacute}sla whisper, MSw. hvisla whistle

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.