Definition of hiss in English:

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Pronunciation: /his/


[no object]
1Make a sharp sibilant sound as of the letter s: the escaping gas was now hissing
More example sentences
  • The drums bubble and hiss like gas escaped from slashing ginsu blades, building into a delicious bumping middle section.
  • It was hissing, long sharp looking fangs hung out of its gaping mouth.
  • Portable gas rings hissed into life and soon gallons of spring water reached boiling point.
fizz, fizzle, whistle, wheeze
rare sibilate
1.1(Of a person) make a sibilant sound as a sign of disapproval or derision: the audience hissed loudly at the mention of his name
More example sentences
  • Emily hissed loudly, gripping Margaret's arm just as she was about to leave.
  • The angels in the hall all hissed slightly, a sound that was half astonished gasp and half restrained fear.
  • True, the house was full, but the audience hissed.
1.2 [with object] Express disapproval of (someone) by hissing: he was hissed off the stage
More example sentences
  • We had food chucked at us in the playground, I was hissed at and once I was threatened with being stabbed, and my brother ended up in a few scraps.
  • When he threw out the traditional scenery and costumes from Verdi's Trovatore, or banned encores, he was hissed by the galleries.
  • Williams was hissed and booed throughout the match.
jeer, catcall, boo, heckle, whistle, hoot;
scoff, jibe
1.3 [reporting verb] Whisper something in an urgent or angry way: he hissed at them to be quiet [with direct speech]: “Get back!” he hissed
More example sentences
  • ‘But I can help,’ Laoise hissed, angry with Devin's attitude.
  • ‘We shouldn't be discussing private matters in front of our visitors,’ Kalren hissed at the angry young man.
  • ‘I could kill you,’ I hiss, angry at her for what she's done to me.


1A sharp sibilant sound: the spit and hiss of a cornered cat
More example sentences
  • As her hand almost touched the pile, a sharp hiss filled the air, drowning out all other sounds.
  • He pulled it out, and the calm of the whiteness was interrupted by a sharp hiss as he drew his sword.
  • There was a low hiss, and something sharp was suddenly at my neck.
fizz, fizzing, whistle, hissing, sibilance, wheeze, pfft
rare sibilation
1.1A sibilant sound used as an expression of disapproval or derision: a hiss of annoyance
More example sentences
  • His remarks were greeted with hisses and derision.
  • It earned him a scowling hiss of disapproval from Dendria and a punch in the shoulder from Naoise for his comedic troubles.
  • Vincent and Vaughn participated in the school's talent show, to the sounds of boos and hisses from the student audience.
jeer, catcall, boo, whistle;
abuse, scoffing, taunting, derision
1.2Electrical interference at audio frequencies: tape hiss
More example sentences
  • There is no hiss or distortion to interfere with the dialogue and corny special effects.
  • Both audio selections sound crisp and clear, with no hiss or interference.
  • Though this isn't the most overly aggressive soundtrack, overall the audio mix is free and clear of any excessive hiss or distortion.


Late Middle English (as a verb): imitative.

Words that rhyme with hiss

abyss, amiss, bis, bliss, Chris, Diss, kiss, Majlis, miss, reminisce, sis, Swiss, this, vis

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hiss

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