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hissing

[his-ing] /ˈhɪs ɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act of emitting a hiss.
2.
the sound of a hiss.
3.
Archaic. an occasion or object of scorn.
Origin of hissing
1350-1400
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at hiss, -ing1

hiss

[his] /hɪs/
verb (used without object)
1.
to make or emit a sharp sound like that of the letter s prolonged, as a snake does, or as steam does when forced under pressure through a small opening.
2.
to express disapproval or contempt by making this sound:
The audience hissed when the actor forgot his lines.
verb (used with object)
3.
to express disapproval of by hissing:
The audience hissed the controversial play.
4.
to silence or drive away by hissing (usually followed by away, down, etc.):
They hissed down the author when he tried to speak.
5.
to utter with a hiss.
noun
6.
a hissing sound, especially one made in disapproval.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English hissen; probably imitative; compare Old English hyscan to jeer at, rail (derivative of husc jeering; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German hosc)
Related forms
hisser, noun
hissingly, adverb
outhiss, verb (used with object)
unhissed, adjective
Synonyms
2, 4. boo, razz, heckle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hissing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. Merton had undertaken the duties that appertain to the "hissing urn."

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • He paced the chamber like a beast in a cage, hissing out the words in his anger.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • Her hissing and sucking might have been a living gasp for breath.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • Then he flew up from the book with a hissing sound, like a radiant streak.

  • In a moment the door was closed behind him, air was hissing into the lock again.

    Salvage in Space John Stewart Williamson
  • And suddenly in her voice there was a sharp, hissing catch, and she stopped short.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • His voice, as he leaned toward us, was no more than a hissing whisper.

  • There was a hissing yet guttural sound, human in quality, yet horrible to her ears.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
British Dictionary definitions for hissing

hiss

/hɪs/
noun
1.
a voiceless fricative sound like that of a prolonged s
2.
such a sound uttered as an exclamation of derision, contempt, etc, esp by an audience or crowd
3.
(electronics) receiver noise with a continuous spectrum, caused by thermal agitation, shot noise, etc
interjection
4.
an exclamation of derision or disapproval
verb
5.
(intransitive) to produce or utter a hiss
6.
(transitive) to express with a hiss, usually to indicate derision or anger
7.
(transitive) to show derision or anger towards (a speaker, performer, etc) by hissing
Derived Forms
hisser, noun
Word Origin
C14: of imitative origin

Hiss

/hɪs/
noun
1.
Alger. 1904–96, US government official: imprisoned (1950–54) for perjury in connection with alleged espionage activities
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hissing
n.

late 14c., hissyng, of imitative origin (see hiss (v.)), but originally also "whistling." In both senses expressing opprobrium.

hiss

v.

late 14c., of imitative origin. Johnson wrote, "it is remarkable, that this word cannot be pronounced without making the noise which it signifies." Related: Hissed; hissing.

hiss

n.

1510s, from hiss (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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