Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To breathe with difficulty, producing a hoarse whistling sound.
  • intransitive verb To make a sound resembling laborious breathing.
  • intransitive verb To produce or utter with a hoarse whistling sound.
  • noun A wheezing sound.
  • noun Informal An old joke.
  • noun Chiefly British A clever scheme.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A puffing or blowing, especially as in labored breathing.
  • To breathe hard; puff and blow; breathe with difficulty and audibly.

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

  • noun A piping or whistling sound caused by difficult respiration.
  • noun (Phon.) An ordinary whisper exaggerated so as to produce the hoarse sound known as the “stage whisper.” It is a forcible whisper with some admixture of tone.
  • intransitive verb To breathe hard, and with an audible piping or whistling sound, as persons affected with asthma.

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

  • noun A piping or whistling sound caused by difficult respiration.
  • noun An ordinary whisper exaggerated so as to produce the hoarse sound known as the "stage whisper"; a forcible whisper with some admixture of tone.
  • noun UK, slang An ulterior scheme or plan
  • noun slang Something very humorous or laughable.
  • verb To breathe hard, and with an audible piping or whistling sound, as persons affected with asthma.

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

  • noun breathing with a husky or whistling sound
  • noun (Briticism) a clever or amusing scheme or trick
  • verb breathe with difficulty

Etymologies

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

[Middle English whesen, probably from Old Norse hvæsa, to hiss; see kwes- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English whesen, perhaps from Old Norse hvæsa ("to hiss"), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *kwes- (“to pant”).

Examples

  • The night was a wonder of shadowless trees, a giant thrall — a wheeze from the dome where the sky now was, then nothing at all.

    2009 May « Tales from the Reading Room

  • The night was a wonder of shadowless trees, a giant thrall — a wheeze from the dome where the sky now was, then nothing at all.

    Poetry, Please « Tales from the Reading Room

  • One short-term wheeze is that the day after the May elections and referendum – whoever has won – Cameron and Nick Clegg will do a joint press conference renewing their rose-garden vows.

    David Davis takes up challenge to prepare next round of Tory policies

  • The latest wheeze is to tax employees if their employer provides parking spaces.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • This votin 'for president wheeze is turning out to be lots more fun than I had anticipated.

    Obituaries

  • The Huntsman has noted this in the Telegraph which suggests that Macivty's latest wheeze is to plan for the next General Election to be held on 11th.

    Election 2009

  • The Huntsman has noted this in the Telegraph which suggests that Macivty's latest wheeze is to plan for the next General Election to be held on 11th.

    Archive 2007-07-08

  • The snort-wheeze is a seldom heard vocalization that a buck makes to challenge an intruder.

    Scott Bestul's Six Tricks for Fooling Trophy Whitetail Bucks During the Rut

  • a grunt call with a snort wheeze is one of the best calls out there. it can really bring in a bruiser.

    M.A.D.

  • a grunt call with a snort wheeze is one of the best calls out there. it can really bring in a bruiser.

    M.A.D.

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • ...hearing the second-rate asthmatic wheeze

    of this ephemeral trite Audenese...

    - Peter Reading, Dead Horse, from Water and Waste, 1974

    June 23, 2008

  • "In March last year, for example, we discovered that the government passed data which it had withheld from the public to the airport operator BAA. The data showed that a third runway at Heathrow would immediately breach European noise and pollution limits, ensuring that it could never be built. BAA and the government worked together to re-engineer the figures to fit the limits. Their fake data was then presented to the public in the government’s consultation paper(7,8). It was used again this month to justify the decision to approve the third runway. This is the kind of wheeze you’d expect in Nigeria."

    - George Monbiot, Squandered, monbiot.com, 27 January 2009.

    February 18, 2010