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[hwim-per, wim-] /ˈʰwɪm pər, ˈwɪm-/
verb (used without object)
to cry with low, plaintive, broken sounds.
verb (used with object)
to utter in a whimper.
a whimpering cry or sound.
1505-15; obsolete whimp to whine + -er6
Related forms
whimperer, noun
whimperingly, adverb
unwhimpering, adjective
unwhimperingly, adverb
1. whine, weep, sob. 3. whine, sob. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for whimpering
  • For several minutes, the wolves performed a duet, whimpering as my terrier would in-between howls.
  • Literally shaking and whimpering until the bike goes away.
  • The manuscript sits in the corner, alternately growling and sighing and whimpering.
  • Only the whispers remained, and the little whimpering groans.
  • With foreign currency scarce, factories are whimpering to a halt for want of fuel or imported spare parts.
  • But then the animal should not really even have been whimpering: predators might notice and devour it.
  • She kept making little whimpering sounds that drove me mad.
  • She was trying to comfort him, whispering something to him, and doing all she could to keep him from whimpering again.
  • No effort is made to explain the poet's plight, no exegesis is offered for all the banging and the whimpering.
  • There they heard the sound of muffled whimpering that led them to a wooden plank held in place by part of a tree trunk.
British Dictionary definitions for whimpering


(intransitive) to cry, sob, or whine softly or intermittently
to complain or say (something) in a whining plaintive way
a soft plaintive whine
Derived Forms
whimperer, noun
whimpering, noun
whimperingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from dialect whimp, of imitative origin
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 whimpering



1510s, probably of imitative origin, or from German wimmern "to whimper, moan." The noun is first recorded c.1700. Related: Whimpered; whimpering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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