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Definition characterized by a hissing sound — as made when pronouncing the letter "s"

More rarely, sibilant can reference the hissing sound; or a consonant (such as "s") that has a hissing sound.
  • the sibilant whisper of a summer's breeze
    Eric Van Lustbader  --  Beneath an Opal Moon
  • a sibilant seductive whisper
  • 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)
  • She had a curious habit of prefacing everything she said with a soft sibilant sound.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • sibilant = hissing
  • She on his tide, let her body be summoned by every sibilant hiss of his pain.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • sibilant = characterized by a hissing sound
  • Sibilants echo wetly off Grade's teeth.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • Sometimes this gurgle became sibilant, almost a whistle.
    Jack London  --  White Fang
  • 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
  • A sound—the sibilance of dragging feet on stone.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • 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
  • It had a slight sibilant sound.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • 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
  • He tapped his scepter on his knee, his voice soft and sibilant.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • 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
  • As he stooped to snatch it up he uttered a sibilant hiss.
    Zane Grey  --  The Man of the Forest
  • "Renault .... zero," Brother Leon said, his voice a sibilant whisper.
    Robert Cormier  --  The Chocolate War
  • Rendezvous, it says, terraces; the sibilants run up my spine, a shiver as if in fever.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid's Tale
  • 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
  • In the hush, a sibilant sound attended the finish photo as it slid down to the stewards.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit

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