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[hwim, wim] /ʰwɪm, wɪm/
an odd or capricious notion or desire; a sudden or freakish fancy:
a sudden whim to take a midnight walk.
capricious humor:
to be swayed by whim.
Origin of whim
First recorded in 1635-45; short for whim-wham
1. whimsy, vagary, caprice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for whim
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It seemed to have a vast inorganic life of its own, a volition and a whim.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • It suited his whim, and it did more than that: it gave him a chance to speak to her in his teasing way.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Indeed, Van Baerle's happiness depended on the whim of this man.

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • The whim had seized her and was holding on tight that Emmeline's might be the Right Place.

    Four Girls and a Compact Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • He's been satisfying every whim of curiosity that pops into his mind.

    The Big Tomorrow Paul Lohrman
British Dictionary definitions for whim


a sudden, passing, and often fanciful idea; impulsive or irrational thought
a horse-drawn winch formerly used in mining to lift ore or water
Word Origin
C17: from whim-wham
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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Word Origin and History for whim

1640s, "pun or play on words," shortened from whimwham "fanciful object" (q.v.). Meaning "sudden notion, fancy, or idea" first recorded 1690s, probably a shortened form of whimsy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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