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See also: SHH and Shh


Etymology 1[edit]

From hush. Likely imitative of a non-verbal utterance. Compare Scots whisht (hush!).

Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ʃ̩ː/
  • (file)



  1. Requesting silence.


shh (plural shhs or shhes)

  1. An utterance of shh.
    • 1946, Helen Wolfert, Nothing Is a Wonderful Thing, Simon and Schuster, page 54:
      “Shh,” says Jenny’s mother, “shh. / Give a shh and a giddyap with your borscht.” / A knock is heard on Gloria’s door. / “Remember is someone asleep in the house!” / Jenny gives a shh and laps up her borscht.
    • 1997, Southwestern American Literature, volume 22, page 121:
      Twenty-five million dollars each?! There were hmms and shhs around the table.
    • 2009, Jeremy Clarkson, Driven to Distraction, Penguin Books, →ISBN:
      And, unlike with a film, or a TV show, or a dreary drinks party, you can’t just leave when the boredom descends like an itchy blanket. You are imprisoned by the etiquette of theatre. You can’t even commit suicide without attracting a chorus of shhes as you splash arterial blood all over the orchestra pit.


shh (third-person singular simple present shhs or shhes, present participle shhing, simple past and past participle shhed)

  1. (intransitive, transitive) To utter shh.
    • 1992, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, volume 112, page 70, column 1:
      “Hey,” the test-taker who’d shhed sat up, glared, saw the exec, shut up, and hunched down over the test.
    • 2007, Bonnie Rozanski, Borderline, The Porcupine's Quill, →ISBN, page 72:
      ‘No!’ Matt shhes.
    • 2015, Chireal Shallow, The Gentle Sleep Solution: The Naturally Nurturing Way to Help Your Baby Sleep, Vermilion, →ISBN, “Deep breathe, don’t ‘shh’”:
      Deep breathing in your baby’s ear is just as effective as white noise, if not more. Try to avoid ‘shhing’ your baby as this can become more violent if done frequently and loudly. The other drawback is that shhing involves your stomach muscles and when you shh you become tense; the more you shh the more tense you become.
    • 2019, Hanleigh Bradley, “Chapter Two: Tallulah”, in The Intimacy Series:
      “I brought coffee,” Landon says but Aurora shhs him.


Etymology 2[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


shh (uncountable)

  1. Alternative form of SHH (sonic hedgehog); Abbreviation of sonic hedgehog.