Definition of hiss in English:


Syllabification: hiss


[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.


Back to top  
  • 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.

More definitions of hiss

Definition of hiss in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea