whistle for

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

whistle for (third-person singular simple present whistles for, present participle whistling for, simple past and past participle whistled for)

  1. (idiomatic) To ask for with no chance of success.
    • 2009, Max Arthur, We Will Remember Them: Voices from the Aftermath of the Great War, →ISBN:
      If we wanted something we could whistle for it - but if the Australians wanted something you'd got to get it for them, or else.
    • 2012, Joan Jonker, Walking My Baby Back Home, →ISBN:
      She could whistle for it now; she wouldn't get a penny from him even if she crawled on all fours.
    • 2014, Tess Read, The Secret Diary of Eric Cowell - Aged 6 1/2 months, →ISBN:
      And if it was milk I was after from that environment I could clearly whistle for it.
    • 1973, Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing, →ISBN, page 96:
      And as for ceilings, you can whistle for them. I have lived in this house for six years and it hasn't hurt me.
  2. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see whistle,‎ for.

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