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

noun

  • 1A sharp sibilant sound.

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

Late Middle English (as a verb): imitative.

Pronunciation

hiss

/hɪs//his/