[ hweez, weez ]
/ ʰwiz, wiz /

verb (used without object), wheezed, wheez·ing.

to breathe with difficulty and with a whistling sound: Asthma caused him to wheeze.
to make a sound resembling difficult breathing: The old locomotive wheezed into the station.


a wheezing breath or sound.
an old and frequently used joke, saying, story, etc.

Origin of wheeze

1425–75; late Middle English whese (v.), probably < Old Norse hvæsa to hiss

Related forms

wheez·er, nounwheez·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wheeze

British Dictionary definitions for wheeze


/ (wiːz) /


to breathe or utter (something) with a rasping or whistling sound
(intr) to make or move with a noise suggestive of wheezy breathing


a husky, rasping, or whistling sound or breathing
British slang a trick, idea, or plan (esp in the phrase good wheeze)
informal a hackneyed joke or anecdote

Derived Forms

wheezer, nounwheezy, adjectivewheezily, adverbwheeziness, noun

Word Origin for wheeze

C15: probably from Old Norse hvǣsa to hiss
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

Medicine definitions for wheeze


[ wēz ]


To breathe with difficulty, producing a hoarse whistling sound.


A wheezing sound.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.