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  • IPA(key): /hwjuː/, /fjuː/, /ʍĭ̥ŭ̥/ [very short and unvoiced]
  • (file)



  1. An expressive sound made indicating the release of one's inner tension; the release of breath; an expression of relief.
    (from strenuous labour) Whew! That box weighs a ton!
    (from intense concern) Whew! Thank goodness youʼre safe! I thought something terrible had happened to you!
    (from fear of being seen) Whew! That cop didnʼt see me! That was a close call!
  2. An expression of amazement or surprise.
    • 1981, P. L. Travers, Mary Poppins, revised edition, chapter 1,
      "...Now I must be off. Whew, it's as cold as the North Pole. Which way is the wind blowing?"


  • (expressing relief of tension): phew
  • (expressing surprise): wow

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


whew (third-person singular simple present whews, present participle whewing, simple past and past participle whewed)

  1. (Britain, Scotland, dialectal) To whistle with a shrill pipe, like a plover.