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dog whistle

[ dawg-hwis-uhl, -wis-, dog- ]
/ ˈdɔgˌʰwɪs əl, -ˌwɪs-, ˈdɒg- /
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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.

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Origin of dog whistle

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

OTHER WORDS FROM dog whistle

dog-whistle, adjectivedog whistling, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for dog whistle

British Dictionary definitions for dog whistle

dog-whistle

adjective

relating to the targeting of potentially controversial messages to specific voters while avoiding offending those voters with whom the message will not be populardog-whistle politics

verb

(intr) to employ this kind of political strategy

Word Origin for dog-whistle

C21: from the fact that a dog whistle operates at frequencies that can be heard only by dogs
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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