(a whistling exclamation or sound expressing astonishment, dismay, relief, etc.)


an utterance of “whew.”

Origin of whew

First recorded in 1505–15; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for whew

gosh, well, gesundheit, golly, phew

Examples from the Web for whew

Contemporary Examples of whew

  • Whew, that guy,” says Jerry wearily, rising to go out front for his set with the New Riders.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Stacks: Grateful Dead I Have Known

    Ed McClanahan

    August 30, 2014

  • “But whew,” he says, making a whistling sound and sweeping his hand over his head.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Tea Party’s Next Targets

    Daniel Stone, Eleanor Clift

    August 7, 2011

  • So—whew—the bleeding seems finally to have been staunched, three months after BP stabbed its hole in the bottom of the sea.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Real Environmental Disaster

    Bill McKibben

    July 20, 2010

Historical Examples of whew

  • Whew, that beats finding pearls in the shells of mussels all hollow!

  • He stared, slowly shook his head, and then uttered a fervent, "Whew!"

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He wore a straw hat, and boots of the ordinary colour, and — Whew!

    Tom, Dick and Harry

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • "Whew, it's cold," exclaimed Leon slapping his hands together.

  • "Whew," he whistled as he glanced up and saw her at the little window of the attic.


    Anna Balmer Myers

British Dictionary definitions for whew



an exclamation or sharply exhaled breath expressing relief, surprise, delight, etc
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 whew

exclamation of astonishment, etc., early 15c., a whistling sound, of imitative origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper