• synonyms


[hwist, wist]
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  1. a card game, an early form of bridge, but without bidding.

Origin of whist1

1655–65; earlier whisk, perhaps identical with whisk, though sense relationship uncertain


[hwist, wist]
  1. hush! silence! be still!
  1. hushed; silent; still.
  1. Chiefly Irish. silence: Hold your whist.
verb (used without object)
  1. British Dialect. to be or become silent.
verb (used with object)
  1. British Dialect. to silence.
Also whisht.

Origin of whist2

1350–1400, Middle English; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whist

Historical Examples

  • After dinner, they sat down to whist, of which Miss Vavasor was very fond.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • De Vaudemont—it is a good name,—perhaps, too, he plays at whist.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Vaudemont, you are bolder in hunting, they tell me, than you are at whist.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • If she had the ace of trumps in her hand at whist, she wouldn't say anything, child.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • My godfather, M. Meydieu, my aunt, and my mother were just beginning a game of whist.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for whist


  1. a card game for four in which the two sides try to win the balance of the 13 tricks: forerunner of bridge

Word Origin

C17: perhaps changed from whisk, referring to the sweeping up or whisking up of the tricks


interjection, adjective, verb
  1. a variant of whisht
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

Word Origin and History for whist


card game, 1660s, alteration of whisk "kind of card game," alluded to as early as 1520s, perhaps so called from the notion of "whisking" up cards after each trick; altered perhaps from assumption that it was an interjection invoking silence, from whist "silent" (Middle English).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper