Definition of wheeze in US English:

wheeze

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a person) breathe with a whistling or rattling sound in the chest, as a result of obstruction in the air passages.

    ‘the illness often leaves her wheezing’
    • ‘Abruptly the old man wheezed and slumped back in his chair, one stiff, gnarled hand to his chest.’
    • ‘‘That's enough for today,’ Bolts wheezed as Katie entered with a super happy look on her face.’
    • ‘Liz smiles professionally and holds Larry, who wheezes and splutters, enduring his hardship with a stoicism that looks exhausting.’
    • ‘The old man wheezed and gasped terribly, groaning out a little as the pain of his performance finally caught up with him.’
    • ‘In a statement released this week, Schering-Plough said Asmanex improved lung function as well as day and nighttime symptoms such as coughing and wheezing and decreased the need for rescue medication.’
    • ‘Does your chest wheeze or make whistling sounds even when you do not have a cold?’
    • ‘I checked online and found that metoprolol has a warning to contact the doctor immediately if you experience wheezing, shortness of breath or swelling of hands and feet.’
    • ‘The elder man spoke in a weak, plaintive tone, constantly stopping to wheeze and gasp for breath.’
    • ‘EIA's symptoms include wheezing, coughing, prolonged expiration, rapid heart rate and tightness of the chest.’
    • ‘Radical as ever, Brinkmann listens to the rasping of his lungs, from which his voice rises, wheezes, belches, whispers and shouts.’
    • ‘I could see she was wheezing and struggling to breathe.’
    • ‘He was still coughing and wheezing, trying to stay quiet.’
    • ‘The older man was beginning to wheeze as he breathed.’
    • ‘Inside, the group browsed, coughed, hacked, wheezed, and spluttered.’
    • ‘Vincent lifted the pillow as Jack coughed and wheezed.’
    • ‘It may be that high levels of cat allergen induce tolerance, which protects against wheeze in very young children, but provoke symptoms in older children predisposed to wheeze for various reasons.’
    • ‘Every time the refrigerator cycled on, I'd be coughing and wheezing.’
    • ‘The old man eyed me suspiciously and limped forward as he wheezed and gasped for breath.’
    • ‘There can be sudden choking with acute respiratory distress, or there can be delayed symptoms with cough, wheezing, and hemoptysis.’
    • ‘There's sneezing, hacking, coughing, wheezing and aching, not to mention a constant runny nose and watery eyes.’
    breathe audibly, breathe noisily, gasp, whistle, hiss, rasp, croak, pant, cough
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    1. 1.1with object Utter with a wheezing sound.
      ‘he could barely wheeze out his pleas for a handout’
      with direct speech ‘“Don't worry son,” he wheezed’
      • ‘Uriah wheezes a laugh and swaggers back to the picnic table for more wine and cheese.’
    2. 1.2 Walk or move slowly with a wheezing sound.
      ‘she wheezed up the hill toward them’
      • ‘Dreyr collapsed into a heap on the floor and wheezed as the figure walked away, its cloak billowing in the breeze and giving the illusion that the figure was much larger and more formidable.’
      • ‘So I persisted, wheezing and tripping up and down the steep hills.’
      • ‘If you climb simulated hills on a stationary bike, you can wheeze up real ones on a mountain bike.’
      • ‘He moved lazily towards me, his voice was wheezing.’
      • ‘‘Thank you, everyone,’ Nick wheezed as the shuttle moved on, re-entering Earth's ozone.’
      • ‘Cami did not look at her as Alyssa wheezed to a walk next to her.’
      • ‘Over the next few days I wheezed and huffed and puffed my way slowly along the mountain paths.’
      • ‘Patients with severe asthma may not have any wheezing as there is very little air moving in and out of the lungs.’
      • ‘He glanced back at Vincent, who was puffing and wheezing from the walk down the tunnel under the burden of ammunition, weapons and the oppressive heat of his coat.’
    3. 1.3 (of a device) make an irregular rattling or spluttering sound.
      ‘the engine coughed, wheezed, and shrieked into life’
      • ‘Then we sat and chatted as the little thermal printer attached to the spiro-whatsit machine wheezed out its report.’
      • ‘The boat's engine had coughed and wheezed for a good ten minutes before Kami had been able to coax it into working order.’
      • ‘It coughed and wheezed to a stop beside the pumps, and I dutifully walked out to serve the tired and dishevelled middle-aged woman sitting behind the wheel.’
      • ‘Quickly I entered my car and started the engine, which coughed and wheezed into life.’
      • ‘Outside, the church bus rumbled to a stop, air brakes wheezing.’
      • ‘The massive machine wheezed and spewed diesel smoke as it pushed an enormous heap of concrete debris, olive trees, and metal sheeting into a larger pile at the roadside.’
      • ‘The machine had been wheezing and spluttering for a while now as I subjected it to my punishing regime of no less than five windows open at any one time and finally it gave up the ghost.’
      • ‘A loud rip vibrated, slowly wheezing out and even grossed me out as I tried not to gag.’
      • ‘The reactor sat on a table with an attached vacuum pump wheezing away.’
      • ‘On a hot afternoon, a Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus approaches a bus stop in JP Nagar and wheezes to a halt a few metres away.’
      • ‘The brakes wheeze and the windows shudder, the seats are cracked and creaky.’

noun

  • 1A sound of or as of a person wheezing.

    ‘I talk with a wheeze’
    • ‘He had no other symptoms, and the examination didn't yield a clue - no rubs, rales, wheezes, or murmur.’
    • ‘He listens to the oxygen machines hum and burble and gasp, the humidifier wheeze, the buzz of the fluorescent light in the hall.’
    • ‘The shadow emitted a terrible sound, an awful wheeze of frenzied laughter suppressed until it became strangling.’
    • ‘Nocturnal wheeze and cough are considered to be common features of asthma.’
    • ‘Research has found that babies and children exposed regularly to smoky atmospheres are twice as likely to have asthma attacks or chest infections, are more likely to get coughs, colds and wheezes and are off school sick more often.’
    • ‘At night when I'm lying in my bed, my wheezes echo throughout my apartment.’
    • ‘The youngster had breathing problems and was given an oxygen mask, inhalers and steroid tablets after contracting a viral-induced wheeze last summer.’
    • ‘The air, however, holds the suspended product of untold sneezes, coughs and wheezes, many of them, we must remember in the time of SARS, from Chinese Canadians.’
    • ‘These symptoms last a day or 2 and are followed by worsening of the cough and the appearance of wheezes (high-pitched whistling noises when breathing out).’
    • ‘The track blossoms into a wonderful cacophony of bells, whistles, and wheezes.’
    • ‘I dare to ask; my throat is sore, and my voice sounds like a nasal wheeze.’
    • ‘Still have a bit of a chesty wheeze and cough too, but, hopefully it will all be cleared in the next day or two.’
    • ‘There is not a sound, apart from the faint wheeze of someone playing a harmonica.’
    • ‘A valet whisks a car away for arriving patrons, while down at the corner, a Metro bus wheezes and clanks to a stop.’
    • ‘The man, in a veined body stocking, is a helpless victim, thrashing, lolling and collapsing like a mad puppet on twisted strings, to musical pings and wheezes.’
    • ‘He always popped his handkerchief once, wiped his brow, and then emitted a loud wheeze - like the releasing of steam from a locomotive.’
    • ‘Another sign is a cough or a wheeze or breathing problems, sinusitis or other nasal problems.’
    • ‘The barn owl's call is distinguished by a screech that has shades of a wheeze.’
    • ‘After counting nine blades the mixture control was set to auto-rich and the Pratt &. Whitney radial sprang into life after a few coughs, a wheeze, and a puff of exhaust smoke.’
    • ‘On six tunes, the wheeze of a button accordian added a dimension that bluegrass purists had never heard before; unfortunately, the band doesn't presently have an accordion player.’
    constricted breathing, gasp, whistle, hiss, rasp, croak, pant, cough
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  • 2US informal An old joke, story, aphorism, act, or routine.

    ‘the old wheeze about the diner complaining about the fly in his soup’
    • ‘This is just a New Age recycling of the old wheeze, ‘badmothering-causes-male-violence.’’
    • ‘A few years ago when Schoolfreinds started in Australia, I stuck my details up on the website for a bit of a wheeze.’
    1. 2.1British A clever or amusing scheme, idea, or trick.
      ‘a new wheeze to help farmers’
      scheme, plan, idea, tactic, move, stratagem, ploy, gambit, device, manoeuvre, contrivance, expedient
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: probably from Old Norse hvæsa ‘to hiss’.

Pronunciation

wheeze

/(h)wēz//(h)wiz/