whistle-blower

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

whistle +‎ blower, referring to a police officer blowing their whistle on observing a violation of the law.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

whistle-blower (plural whistle-blowers)

  1. One who reports a problem or violation to the authorities; especially, an employee or former employee who reports a violation by an employer.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:informant
    We owe it to a small group of brave whistle-blowers that we know about the infractions at all.
    • 2012, Frederick D. Lipman, Whistleblowers, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, →ISBN, page 60:
      Usually the whistleblower is not fired outright. The organization's goal is to disconnect the act of whistleblowing from the act of retaliation, which is why so much legislation to protect whistleblowers is practically irrelevant. The usual practice is to demoralize and humiliate the whistleblower, putting him or her under so much psychological stress that it becomes difficult to do a good job.
    • 2020 September 14, Ben Smith, “The Intercept Promised to Reveal Everything”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      The huge breach of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program in June 2013 was one of the proudest moments in modern journalism, and one of the purest: A brave and disgusted whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, revealed the government’s extensive surveillance of American and foreign citizens.

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