Definition of hiss in US English:

hiss

verb

[no object]
  • 1Make a sharp sibilant sound as of the letter s.

    ‘the escaping gas was now hissing’
    • ‘The connection hissed and buzzed with static that the computers should have been able to filter out.’
    • ‘The elven sorcerer tried to grab the feline, but it hissed and swung with its sharp claws.’
    • ‘The skids hissed, small clouds of gas escaping as it settled to the floor of the landing bay.’
    • ‘There was steam hissing from a dozen little spouts and a thick green gas hid the floor.’
    • ‘Steam and gases hissed from gaps in the cracked stones, and a black chair was positioned on a raised, circular dais.’
    • ‘The sound of the water hissing in the Devil's Throat was overwhelming.’
    • ‘She took a deep breath that hissed like steam escaping from a kettle and tucked her feet in closer.’
    • ‘The kettle began to whistle and hiss on the stove.’
    • ‘It was the sound of dry, windblown leaves and loose paper hissing across concrete streets and sidewalks.’
    • ‘She was assured that the speakers should not be hissing in surround sound.’
    • ‘After about a minute, a single car stopped in front of them, its door hissing open with pneumatic sibilance.’
    • ‘The essence of burning rubber filled the air, and the sound of squealing tires hissed.’
    • ‘Gas heaters usually hiss when they operate and they usually require a venting system to avoid the buildup of dangerous byproducts.’
    • ‘A cat sits curled up in the lap of a little green-haired girl, who hisses at the boy, revealing a sharp pair of fangs.’
    • ‘All of them black as midnight, all of them with beady eyes and sharp claws and the ability to hiss on demand.’
    • ‘Portable gas rings hissed into life and soon gallons of spring water reached boiling point.’
    • ‘Everything above the ground seemed to be vibrating, shuddering, clashing, hissing and whistling.’
    • ‘The drums bubble and hiss like gas escaped from slashing ginsu blades, building into a delicious bumping middle section.’
    • ‘The gas lamp hissed softly when I turned it down: the mantle faded from white to orange, dimming to red before it died.’
    • ‘It was hissing, long sharp looking fangs hung out of its gaping mouth.’
    fizz, fizzle, whistle, wheeze, buzz, shrill
    View synonyms
    1. 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’
      • ‘She opened her mouth to make a sharp retort when he hissed at her, ‘Shut up.’’
      • ‘Emily hissed loudly, gripping Margaret's arm just as she was about to leave.’
      • ‘Immediately, she started hissing at the being standing close to me.’
      • ‘‘Should've eaten breakfast,’ she said hissing through her overactive nostrils.’
      • ‘I can hiss here, of course; this is the big sloppy Etch-A-Retch for the daily moods.’
      • ‘Not realizing it was still sharp, he hissed in pain as it cut him.’
      • ‘True, the house was full, but the audience hissed.’
      • ‘Then in a fluid motion, she turns around hissing and throws me to the ground.’
      • ‘He was hissing now, scowling with a hatred and anger at them both.’
      • ‘Leaning towards me, he indignantly hissed in my ear.’
      • ‘At the performance I saw, the audience hissed when his picture appeared.’
      • ‘The angels in the hall all hissed slightly, a sound that was half astonished gasp and half restrained fear.’
      • ‘I looked over to the mother to see that she was hissing at me.’
      • ‘It would be so easy to maneuver around certain obstacles, and you can hiss at people without receiving a weird look.’
      • ‘She began hissing and growling this horrible low grumble like something from a Stephen King novel.’
      • ‘‘Whatever, just get to the point’, he said hissing at her.’
      • ‘As the faceplate closed partway and he began hissing in my face I am quite sure my screaming changed tone and intensity.’
      • ‘We are hissing and fussing at the faintest lilt of an accent.’
      • ‘Michael hissed, pulling me down to the parquet.’
      • ‘Reaching over to get the shampoo I hissed as a sharp pain laced through my side.’
    2. 1.2with object Express disapproval of (someone) by hissing.
      ‘he was hissed off the stage’
      • ‘After training as a dancer in Spain she returned to England as Donna Lola Montez, to be hissed off the stage for her immorality.’
      • ‘Williams was hissed and booed throughout the match.’
      • ‘When he threw out the traditional scenery and costumes from Verdi's Trovatore, or banned encores, he was hissed by the galleries.’
      • ‘After a long debate in which at one stage Mead was hissed by a section of the meeting, the report was rejected.’
      • ‘He will address another question and answer session with activists this week, despite being hissed and slow-hand clapped at a similar event last week.’
      • ‘She was hissed and booed by even the uneducated audience.’
      • ‘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.’
      jeer, catcall, utter catcalls, whistle, shout disapproval
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3reporting verb Whisper something in an urgent or angry way.
      with direct speech ‘“Get back!” he hissed’
      ‘he hissed at them to be quiet’
      • ‘‘But I can help,’ Laoise hissed, angry with Devin's attitude.’
      • ‘Denis dug her in the ribs and, in a stage whisper, hissed: ‘Indonesia, Margaret, Indonesia.’’
      • ‘‘They have trouble with women here,’ a fellow traveller hissed in my ear.’
      • ‘‘Take me away’ Madison hissed jumping to hide further behind the house.’
      • ‘‘I could kill you,’ I hiss, angry at her for what she's done to me.’
      • ‘‘You didn't answer my question,’ Reid hissed jerking her in his direction.’
      • ‘‘And we can only stay for another three days,’ Sollain hissed, sounding almost apologetic.’
      • ‘‘Shut up,’ he hissed glancing into the kitchen where mom was on the phone.’
      • ‘‘Your dream will never come true’ Tanalia hissed cutting a square in Yuki's flesh, a box around her heart crystal.’
      • ‘‘We shouldn't be discussing private matters in front of our visitors,’ Kalren hissed at the angry young man.’
      • ‘‘We can't sing, we're supposed to be dead,’ a woman hissed.’
      • ‘‘You will not escape me, you meddling fool,’ she hissed out before charging again.’
      • ‘I leapt up from my chair and hissed, ‘You sound exactly like mother!’’
      • ‘‘Now look what you've done,’ I hissed getting out of the bed to get my clothes on and hush the baby before it woke the whole family up.’
      • ‘‘His majesty wishes you to come with me,’ he hissed trying to keep his patience, but failing.’
      • ‘‘There is no escape, boy,’ he hissed soothingly, his voice calming and relaxing.’
      • ‘‘Don't be such a drama queen,’ her sharp voice hissed, cutting across the room like a knife.’
      • ‘‘Say something dolt,’ Aayla hissed in Raad's ear, giving him a sharp nudge in the back.’
      • ‘‘I'm gonna kill him,’ Frank hissed as he stared at all four letters, which were laid out in front of him on a cafeteria table.’
      • ‘‘He won't,’ she hissed heading down the hall and into her and Zano's room.’

noun

  • 1A sharp sibilant sound.

    ‘the spit and hiss of a cornered cat’
    • ‘Beyond, a sharp hiss of air could be heard as the seal broke and the Howlrunner prepared for flight.’
    • ‘The man fidgeted, trying to get loose, but stopped abruptly with a sharp hiss of pain.’
    • ‘He had let out a sharp hiss at the sting, but one look from Abigail instantly silenced him.’
    • ‘I slowly woke up, a sharp hiss escaping me at how I ached, how everything hurt.’
    • ‘She drew in a sharp hiss of breath and glared at Fayd, who was reaching down to grab one of the fallen daggers Claw had dropped.’
    • ‘I was seated around a fire with my sisters and other children when suddenly there was a sharp hiss.’
    • ‘She pulls herself to her feet, drawing in a sharp hiss of breath as she straightens.’
    • ‘However, he made out the words Dennier and Earth in the cacophony of clicks and hisses.’
    • ‘Dey's rage was as cold as the arrows he used on Gith, and his words were more hiss than sound.’
    • ‘After a sharp hiss that might have been a laugh, the man spoke again, this time with somewhat more voice.’
    • ‘Ri stared after him for a moment until the door closed with its sharp hiss, jarring Ri back to reality.’
    • ‘The impact was sharp, and a hiss of breath escaped involuntarily.’
    • ‘The arrow was released from the bowstring with a sharp hiss, and streaked off.’
    • ‘As her hand almost touched the pile, a sharp hiss filled the air, drowning out all other sounds.’
    • ‘The athame traced over the circle, a sharp hiss filling the air as metal struck water.’
    • ‘Then a sharp hiss crackled from the earpiece: Sahara's voice.’
    • ‘He pulled it out, and the calm of the whiteness was interrupted by a sharp hiss as he drew his sword.’
    • ‘The sharp hiss in his ear brought his attention back to the meeting.’
    • ‘There was a sharp hiss and my eyes snapped open and were met with a pair of blood red ones.’
    • ‘There was a low hiss, and something sharp was suddenly at my neck.’
    fizz, fizzing, whistle, hissing, sibilance, wheeze, wheezing, buzz, buzzing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A sibilant sound used as an expression of disapproval or derision.
      ‘a hiss of annoyance’
      • ‘The Amador bleachers erupted into boos and hisses while Foothills started cheering Quarter on.’
      • ‘Boos and hisses came from the crowds at the sight of No Name's cowardliness.’
      • ‘Her voice was sincere yet it held a hiss of annoyance.’
      • ‘Vincent and Vaughn participated in the school's talent show, to the sounds of boos and hisses from the student audience.’
      • ‘The response drew boos and hisses from some journalists and several walked out.’
      • ‘The girls cheered, but the men called out boos and hisses.’
      • ‘The post-match analysts then came on to boos and hisses.’
      • ‘The fans of that school screamed and shouted over the boos and hisses.’
      • ‘The hisses and boos from Jasmine and Nell overwhelmed her response.’
      • ‘Lots of hisses and boos to the Chancellor for not relenting on that score.’
      • ‘It earned him a scowling hiss of disapproval from Dendria and a punch in the shoulder from Naoise for his comedic troubles.’
      • ‘However he was not expecting to see her eyes open in anger and a sharp hiss to come of the little thing.’
      • ‘But lately the catcalls and hisses are dying down as audiences acquiesce to the reality of in-theater advertising.’
      • ‘The audience responded with a cascade of hisses and boos.’
      • ‘Boos and hisses all round because we all know that monopolies are bad because they can charge what they like.’
      • ‘Only when he is greeted with boos and hisses does it become clear that the cries of ‘author, author’ are ironic.’
      • ‘He returned yesterday to a deafening roar of hisses and boos and expletives.’
      • ‘The moment the headmaster said this, there was a loud eruption of boos and hisses.’
      • ‘His remarks were greeted with hisses and derision.’
      • ‘Then with what seemed to be a hiss of disappointment, he slithered away and hid himself.’
      jeer, catcall, whistle, shout of derision, raspberry
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Electrical interference at audio frequencies.
      ‘tape hiss’
      • ‘Though this isn't the most overly aggressive soundtrack, overall the audio mix is free and clear of any excessive hiss or distortion.’
      • ‘There's no hiss or distortion anywhere on the track.’
      • ‘There is no hiss or distortion to interfere with the dialogue and corny special effects.’
      • ‘The soundtrack shows a remarkable lack of distortion with background hiss being practically nonexistent.’
      • ‘Audio is likewise superbly clear and free of distortion or hiss.’
      • ‘Actually, both of these soundtracks are in better shape that I anticipated - the dialogue is mostly clear of any hiss or distortion.’
      • ‘I found it very pleasing with no distortion and minimal hiss.’
      • ‘Actually, the English only track is not that bad, though much hiss and distortion were detected.’
      • ‘I heard no drowning of dialogue under the effects of music, and overall there was no hiss or distortion.’
      • ‘There is no hiss or other distortion that I could detect.’
      • ‘The rock music score or background noise is well heard and clean of any distortion or hiss.’
      • ‘The track itself is remarkably clear of distortions such as background hiss or those annoying pops.’
      • ‘Surround sounds and directional effects are used to their fullest advantage without any hiss or distortion marring the mix.’
      • ‘The dynamic range on both audio tracks is wide and spacious without any hiss or distortion present.’
      • ‘The audio is clear, with no noticeable hiss or other distortion, and dialogue is easily understood.’
      • ‘It is an adequate mix, free of hiss and distortion.’
      • ‘The mix is free of any excessive hiss or distortion.’
      • ‘The audio seems over processed, always on the border of hiss or distortion.’
      • ‘The feature is void of any hiss or excessive distortion.’
      • ‘Both audio selections sound crisp and clear, with no hiss or interference.’
      distortion, buzz, fizz, buzzing, hissing, fizzing, white noise
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb): imitative.

Pronunciation

hiss

/hɪs//his/