Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sharp sibilant sound similar to a sustained s.
  • noun An expression of disapproval, contempt, or dissatisfaction conveyed by use of this sound.
  • intransitive verb To make a hiss.
  • intransitive verb To utter with a hiss.
  • intransitive verb To express (a negative view or reaction) by uttering a hiss.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make or emit a sound like a prolonged enunciation of s, as a serpent or a goose; utter or send forth a long-drawn sibilation; hence, to emit any similar sound, as water thrown on hot metal, or as steam rushing through a small orifice; specifically (of persons), to express disapprobation or contempt by uttering such a sound.
  • To whizz, as an arrow or other thing in rapid flight.
  • To condemn or express disapproval of by hissing.
  • noun A continued sound like that of s; a prolonged sibilation produced by the organs of utterance, or any similar sound: as, a serpent's hiss. It is a common expression of disapprobation or contempt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To condemn or express contempt for by hissing.
  • transitive verb To utter with a hissing sound.
  • noun A prolonged sound like that letter s, made by forcing out the breath between the tongue and teeth, esp. as a token of disapprobation or contempt.
  • noun Any sound resembling that above described.
  • noun The noise made by a serpent.
  • noun The note of a goose when irritated.
  • noun The noise made by steam escaping through a narrow orifice, or by water falling on a hot stove.
  • intransitive verb To make with the mouth a prolonged sound like that of the letter s, by driving the breath between the tongue and the teeth; to make with the mouth a sound like that made by a goose or a snake when angered; esp., to make such a sound as an expression of hatred, passion, or disapproval.
  • intransitive verb To make a similar noise by any means; to pass with a sibilant sound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A high-pitched sound made by a snake, cat, escaping steam, etc.
  • noun An expression of disapproval made to sound like the noise of a snake.
  • verb To make a hissing sound.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb move with a whooshing sound
  • noun a cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt
  • noun a fricative sound (especially as an expression of disapproval)
  • verb express or utter with a hiss
  • verb show displeasure, as after a performance or speech
  • verb make a sharp hissing sound, as if to show disapproval

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English hissen, to hiss, of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Onomatopoeic.

Examples

  • Unfortunately the tablet recorded a hiss from the mixer.

    RSS club meeting 5

  • Unfortunately the tablet recorded a hiss from the mixer.

    Archive 2005-05-01

  • At that time the British Constable was responsible for law and order in hiss village.

    Agricultural Co-ordination Within the Empire

  • Preston hit another hidden button and two large speakers lowered from the ceiling above the monitors; both hissed, but not from any electronic malfunction in their circuitry: The hiss was the sound of silence.

    Time Was

  • In spite of my pretension of being the least susceptible regarding an author's vanity of all the writers in Paris, it is perfectly impossible to be indifferent to such a thing -- a hiss is a hiss.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • To hear the noise of serpent's hiss, that is thy harmony.

    A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 6

  • In spite of my pretension of being the least susceptible regarding an author's vanity of all the writers in Paris, it is perfectly impossible to be indifferent to such a thing -- a hiss is a hiss.

    Gerfaut — Complete

  • They recorded directly to a stereo tape, so it wasn't like it was recorded to multi-tracks and then mixed onto another tape with a lot of hiss, which is why it was so clear.

    NPR Topics: News

  • They recorded directly to a stereo tape, so it wasn't like it was recorded to multi-tracks and then mixed onto another tape with a lot of hiss, which is why it was so clear.

    NPR Topics: News

  • They recorded directly to a stereo tape, so it wasn't like it was recorded to multi-tracks and then mixed onto another tape with a lot of hiss, which is why it was so clear.

    NPR Topics: News

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