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sibilant
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sibilant


a sibilant seductive whisper
  characterized by a hissing sound — as made when pronouncing the letter "s"
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sibilant sibilance sibilants sibilate
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Samples:
  • a sibilant seductive whisper
  • the sibilant whisper of a summer’s breeze
    Eric Van Lustbader  --  Beneath an Opal Moon
  • she uttered a shshshsh so sibilant and ominous, that it frightened the poor old lady in her bed
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • the slithery, sibilant language of snakes
    A. O. Scott  --  The New York Times, 2/15/02 (film review of:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

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  • She on his tide, let her body be summoned by every sibilant hiss of his pain.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • This man had become so intimate with gophers that he could charm them with sibilant whistles until they would emerge from their underground retreats and passively allow him to examine the hair on their backs.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • She made a sibilant sound, almost inaudible, and right there on Constitution Avenue, moved toward me in a rush and pressed herself into my arms.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • She had a curious habit of prefacing everything she said with a soft sibilant sound.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A sound—the sibilance of dragging feet on stone.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • The wheels were sibilant on the whizzing blacktop surface.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22

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  • He prowled across Carvahall, avoiding everyone until he heard a sibilant voice from around a house.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • All the air of the fourteenth floor was sibilant with the categorical imperative.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • Sometimes this gurgle became sibilant, almost a whistle.
    Jack London  --  White Fang
  • Rendezvous, it says, terraces; the sibilants run up my spine, a shiver as if in fever.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The last part of his speech was lost in a faint sibilant buzz that went through the gathering, an angry beelike buzz.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • Hekate spoke in a deep, almost masculine voice, touched with an accent that had all the hissing sibilants of Greece and the liquid consonants of Persia.
    Micheal Scott  --  The Alchemyst
  • In the silence Harry imagined he could hear the snake hissing slightly as it coiled and uncoiled-or was it Voldemort’s sibilant sigh lingering on the air?
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • "Renault …. zero," Brother Leon said, his voice a sibilant whisper.
    Robert Cormier  --  The Chocolate War
  • Anne was sitting at her open window, for the time forgetful of the woes of examinations and the cares of the world, as she drank in the beauty of the summer dusk, sweet-scented with flower breaths from the garden below and sibilant and rustling from the stir of poplars.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • Hyesss, Hannah said softly, sharply inhaling the first of the word, and trailing the sibilant to a hair.
    James Agee  --  A Death in the Family
  • Theodore Murrell would be lying there, too, breathing with a slightly adenoidal sibilance under his beautiful blond mustache.
    Robert Penn Warren  --  All the King’s Men
  • She hadn’t been able to understand Artkin’s words, but the sibilant whispers left no doubt in her mind about what Artkin was saying.
    Robert Cormier  --  After the First Death
  • Then she flings herself across Addle Bundren’s knees, clutching her, shaking her with the furious strength of the young before sprawling suddenly across the handful of rotten bones that Addie Bundren left, jarring the whole bed into a chattering sibilance of mattress shucks, her arms outflung and the fan in one hand still beating with expiring breath into the quilt.
    William Faulkner  --  As I Lay Dying
  • In the hush, a sibilant sound attended the finish photo as it slid down to the stewards.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • The soft consonants suggested an unthinkable obscenity, the sibilant ending whispered the family’s shame.
    Ian McEwan  --  Atonement
  • The sibilant s, followed by a flat vowel and hard consonants.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • When anybody entered the room, she uttered a shshshsh so sibilant and ominous, that it frightened the poor old lady in her bed, from which she could not look without seeing Mrs. Bute’s beady eyes eagerly fixed on her, as the latter sate steadfast in the arm-chair by the bedside.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • Plump, translucent lizards lived behind old pictures, and waxy, crumbling ancestors with tough toe-nails and breath that smelled of yellow maps gossiped in sibilant, papery whispers.
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • They held the funeral on the second day, with the town coming to look at Miss Emily beneath a mass of bought flowers, with the crayon face of her father musing profoundly above the bier and the ladies sibilant and macabre; and the very old men —some in their brushed Confederate uniforms—on the porch and the lawn, talking of Miss Emily as if she had been a contemporary of theirs, believing that they had danced with her and courted her perhaps, confusing time with its mathematical…
    William Faulkner  --  A Rose for Emily
  • They emerged from the cabins and struggled up the sharing levee to the road—men in staid, hard brown orblack, with gold watch chains and now and then a stick; young men in cheap violentblues or stripes and swaggering hats; women a little stiffly sibilant,and children in garments bought second hand of white people, who looked at Ben with the covertness of nocturnal animals: "I bet you wont go up en tech him."
    William Faulkner  --  The Sound and the Fury
  • …sequent, then simultaneous, urinations were dissimilar: Bloom’s longer, less irruent, in the incomplete form of the bifurcated penultimate alphabetical letter, who in his ultimate year at High School (1880) had been capable of attaining the point of greatest altitude against the whole concurrent strength of the institution, 210 scholars: Stephen’s higher, more sibilant, who in the ultimate hours of the previous day had augmented by diuretic consumption an insistent vesical pressure.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • It had a slight sibilant sound.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • As he stooped to snatch it up he uttered a sibilant hiss.
    Zane Grey  --  The Man of the Forest
  • The brief, intermittent sibilance of a machine-saw came from a near-by workshop.
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • He tapped his scepter on his knee, his voice soft and sibilant.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • The news spread through the vast audience like a tremor whose aftershocks were a sibilant hiss of disapproval.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • He thought about that as he listened to the two lovers talking in sibilant whispers as they strolled near University Lake.
    James Patterson  --  Kiss the Girls
  • I heard the breathing of fifty men like muted sibilance of surf, broken only by necessary orders in the fewest possible words.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Starship Troopers
  • Though these words make no sense to me, I am grateful for any sibilance, any sustenance to what previously was discerned as only wind.
    Stephen King  --  Rose Red
  • I also got used to hearing short bursts of foreign languages as the dial hand swept round from BBC to Radio Eireann, from the intonations of London to those of Dublin, and even though I did not understand what was being said in those first encounters with the gutturals and sibilants of European speech, I had already begun a journey into the wideness of the world beyond.
    Seamus Heaney  --  Crediting Poetry
  • There is a little informal talking in the church itself, lowtoned, the ladies constant and a link sibilant with fans, nodding to arriving friends as they pass in the aisle.
    William Faulkner  --  Light in August
  • Sibilants echo wetly off Grade’s teeth.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • This face is a dog’s snout sniffing for garbage, Snakes nest in that mouth, I hear the sibilant threat.
    Walt Whitman  --  Leaves of Grass
  • He prowled across Carvahall, avoiding everyone until he heard a sibilant voice from around a house.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • The plethora of sibilants in the sentence still offended his ear, but he saw no way of amending them without using what were, to his mind, inferior synonyms.
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • A sibilant hiss came from the smaller Ra’zac.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • Orr snickered with a slight, mucid sibilance and turned back to his work, squatting.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • Its familiar tones were soft and sibilant and eternally playful.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • "S-s-s-si-ide," said the creature, repeating the word and stretching out its syllable in a sibilant hiss as though rediscovering it had the power of speech.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • "To find her and buy her and set her free," he said, and felt the grasp on his arm released and then in the dark suddenly felt the rake of her nails down his cheek, and heard her voice in a kind of "wild sibilance" saying, "if you do—if you do—oh, I’ll not abide it— I will not!"
    Robert Penn Warren  --  All the King’s Men
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Associated words [difficulty]:   sibilant [6]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Engineering, Medicine, Religion & Spirtuality
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