whispering

[hwis-per-ing, wis-]

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English (noun), Old English hwisprunge. See whisper, -ing2, -ing1

whisperingly, adverb
half-whisperingly, adverb
unwhispering, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

whisper

[hwis-per, wis-per]
verb (used without object)
1.
to speak with soft, hushed sounds, using the breath, lips, etc., but with no vibration of the vocal cords.
2.
Phonetics. to produce utterance substituting breath for phonation.
3.
to talk softly and privately (often implying gossip, slander, plotting, or the like): The king knew that the courtiers were whispering.
4.
(of trees, water, breezes, etc.) to make a soft, rustling sound like that of whispering.
verb (used with object)
5.
to utter with soft, low sounds, using the breath, lips, etc.: He whispered endearments to her.
6.
Phonetics. to utter (speech sounds) substituting breath for phonation.
7.
to say or tell in a whisper; tell privately.
8.
to speak to or tell (a person) in a whisper or privately.
noun
9.
the mode of utterance, or the voice, of a person who whispers: to speak in a whisper.
10.
a word or remark uttered by whispering.
11.
a rumor or insinuation: Whispers circulated about the affair.
12.
a soft, rustling sound like a whisper: the whisper of leaves in the wind.

Origin:
before 950; Middle English whisperen (v.), Old English hwisprian; cognate with German wispern; akin to Old Norse hviskra to whisper, hvīsla to whistle. See whine

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
whisper (ˈwɪspə)
 
vb
1.  to speak or utter (something) in a soft hushed tone, esp without vibration of the vocal cords
2.  (intr) to speak secretly or furtively, as in promoting intrigue, gossip, etc
3.  (intr) (of leaves, trees, etc) to make a low soft rustling sound
4.  (tr) to utter or suggest secretly or privately: to whisper treason
 
n
5.  a low soft voice: to speak in a whisper
6.  something uttered in such a voice
7.  a low soft rustling sound
8.  a trace or suspicion
9.  informal a rumour or secret
 
[Old English hwisprian; related to Old Norse hvīskra, Old High German hwispalōn, Dutch wispern]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

whisper
O.E. hwisprian "speak very softly" (only in a Northumbrian gloss for L. murmurare), from P.Gmc. *khwis- (cf. M.Du. wispelen, O.H.G. hwispalon, Ger. wispeln, wispern, O.N. hviskra "to whisper"), imitative and probably related to O.E. hwistlian "to whistle." The noun is from 1596.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Whispering can strain the vocal cords more than speaking does.
They are lined up as though they are whispering to each other.
She started whispering to herself and stabbing at the paper with her pen.
Whispering and giggling at the same time have no place in good society.
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