From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Inherited from Old French sifler (later orthographically influenced by souffler), from Vulgar Latin *sīfilāre, probably an Osco-Umbrian influenced variant of Latin sībilāre (compare Spanish chiflar, Friulian sivilâ). Cf. also the variant northern Old French dialectal form sufler (whence Norman sûfflier and Walloon xhufler), from a Vulgar Latin variant *sufilāre (compare Italian zufolare), as well as the dialectal subler from a form *subilāre (compare Italian sobillare, Romansch tschüblar, Romanian șuiera); in areas transitional to Franco-Provençal dialects is found the form sibler (compare also Occitan siblar, siular, Catalan xiular).


  • IPA(key): /si.fle/
  • (file)



  1. (transitive, intransitive) to whistle
    Elle siffle un air bizarre.
    She's whistling a strange tune.
  2. (transitive) to whistle for, to blow on a whistle for
    L’arbitre a sifflé la mi-temps.
    The referee blew the whistle for half-time.
  3. (transitive) to boo by whistling (to show one's disapproval at something)
  4. (intransitive, of snakes) to hiss
  5. (transitive) to knock back (a drink), to down


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]