or whis·tle blow·er

[hwis-uh l-bloh-er, wis-]
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Origin of whistle-blower

First recorded in 1965–70
Related formswhis·tle-blow·ing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for whistleblower


  1. informal a person who informs on someone or puts a stop to something
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 whistleblower

in the figurative sense, by 1970, American English, from whistle (as something sounded in an alert) + agent noun from blow (v.1). Earlier in U.S. sports slang sense "referee."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper