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dog whistle

[dawg-hwis-uh l, -wis-, dog-] /ˈdɔgˌʰwɪs əl, -ˌwɪs-, ˈdɒg-/
noun
1.
Politics. a political strategy, statement, slogan, etc., that conveys a controversial, secondary message understood only by those who support the message:
His criticism of welfare was a dog whistle appealing to racist voters.
Origin
1995-2000
1995-2000; < dog whistle a high-frequency whistle audible to dogs but not humans
Related forms
dog-whistle, adjective
dog whistling, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dog-whistle

dog-whistle

adjective
1.
relating to the targeting of potentially controversial messages to specific voters while avoiding offending those voters with whom the message will not be popular dog-whistle politics
verb
2.
(intransitive) to employ this kind of political strategy
Word Origin
C21: from the fact that a dog whistle operates at frequencies that can be heard only by dogs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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