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[hwist, wist] /ʰwɪst, wɪst/
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] /ʰwɪst, wɪst/
hush! silence! be still!
hushed; silent; still.
Chiefly Irish. silence:
Hold your whist.
verb (used without object)
British Dialect. to be or become silent.
verb (used with object)
British Dialect. to silence.
Also, whisht.
1350-1400, Middle English; imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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
  • There the night was spent in whist, faro, suppers, and political consultations.

  • "I was asking about Lady Blennerbore's whist," interposed Mrs. Kennyfeck.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • They told me up at Delhi that you hadn't your equal at whist or billiards.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • At this a party of reverend fathers were busily occupied at whist.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • Some was back under the awnin' and others was down stairs, playin' whist.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
British Dictionary definitions for whist


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
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
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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
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