9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hweez, weez] /ʰwiz, wiz/
verb (used without object), wheezed, wheezing.
to breathe with difficulty and with a whistling sound:
Asthma caused him to wheeze.
to make a sound resembling difficult breathing:
The old locomotive wheezed into the station.
a wheezing breath or sound.
an old and frequently used joke, saying, story, etc.
Origin of wheeze
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English whese (v.), probably < Old Norse hvæsa to hiss
Related forms
wheezer, noun
wheezingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for wheeze
  • Trains whistle, wheeze and screech around corners and past venous intersections.
  • No more nasty cough, no more asthmatic wheeze and my doc couldn't be happier with my ekg.
  • Raucous voices blare at us in taxis, and even our apartments are filled with the asthmatic wheeze of the air-conditioner.
  • Down the hall, her father was coughing, a wheeze without any charm to it.
  • Naysayers complain that the proposal is a wheeze to extract more public money and bureaucratic jobs.
  • In many ways this money-laundering would be a clever wheeze.
  • The wheeze, however, seems to have been too clever by half.
British Dictionary definitions for wheeze


to breathe or utter (something) with a rasping or whistling sound
(intransitive) to make or move with a noise suggestive of wheezy breathing
a husky, rasping, or whistling sound or breathing
(Brit, slang) a trick, idea, or plan (esp in the phrase good wheeze)
(informal) a hackneyed joke or anecdote
Derived Forms
wheezer, noun
wheezy, adjective
wheezily, adverb
wheeziness, noun
Word Origin
C15: probably from Old Norse hvǣsa to hiss
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for wheeze

mid-15c., probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse hvoesa "to hiss," Danish hvæse) cognate with Old English hwæst "act of blowing," hwosan "to cough," from an imitative root. Related: Wheezed; wheezing. The noun is first recorded 1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
wheeze in Medicine

wheeze (wēz)
v. wheezed, wheez·ing, wheez·es
To breathe with difficulty, producing a hoarse whistling sound. n.
A wheezing sound.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for wheeze


  1. The legs: His wheels are good. His arm is probably better than it was/ even the veiny old wheels (1940s+)
  2. A car: He tried to convince them that their wheels belonged to someone else (1950s+ Hot rodders)
Related Terms

set of wheels, shit on wheels

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for wheeze

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for wheeze

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with wheeze

Nearby words for wheeze