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[hwin, win] /ʰwɪn, wɪn/
noun, Chiefly British.
any thorny or prickly shrub, especially gorse.
Origin of whin
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English whynne, apparently < Scandinavian; compare Icelandic hvīngras bent grass, Danish hvene, Swedish (h)ven Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for whin
Historical Examples
  • whin I woke up, me legs was as weak as a day-old baby's, an' me poor head impty as a cobbler's purse.

  • "Faix, that's jist what I thought he was whin Oi foired at him," added Felix.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • whin ye looked down ye obsarved yer own image and I dont wonder ye took it for owld Nick.

  • I was goin' to the princess' afther me fare, whin I heard a shot.

    Princess Zara Ross Beeckman
  • In summer I may go to Newpoort, although it ain't th' place it was whin I first wint there.

    Mr. Dooley Says Finley Dunne
  • And, say, Jawn, they can't say 'mate' whin they ask for more.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • whin they think me cross, it's only that I'm a bit quoiet, an' who can wonder?

  • whin we get the Bill every man can take a shpade, an' begorra!

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • whin he finds all them balls an' rainbows an' eddicated secrets, he forgets iverything else; he's contint wit 'his discovery.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • We have to thravel a bit into the jungle, and camp out, whin we wants wan.

    The Battery and the Boiler R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for whin


another name for gorse
Word Origin
C11: from Scandinavian; compare Old Danish hvine (græs), Norwegian hvine, Swedish hven


short for whinstone
Word Origin
C14: quin, of obscure 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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