dog whistle

[ dawg-hwis-uh l, -wis-, dog- ]
/ ˈdɔgˌʰwɪs əl, -ˌwɪs-, ˈdɒg- /

noun

Politics. a political strategy, statement, slogan, etc., that conveys a controversial, secondary message understood only by those who support the message: His criticism of welfare was a dog whistle appealing to racist voters.

Origin of dog whistle

First recorded in 1995–2000; < dog whistle a high-frequency whistle audible to dogs but not humans

Related forms

dog-whis·tle, adjectivedog whistling, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019