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Verb (used without object)[edit]

  1. to utter a low, usually nasal, complaining cry or sound, as from uneasiness, discontent, peevishness, etc.: The puppies were whining from hunger.
  2. to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way: He is always whining about his problems.

Change in meaning?[edit]

Has the definition of this word always included petty recurrent complaining? Does its meaning and applicability vary in different dialects? Until perhaps 1995 I had understood whine, and whining to refer only to complaints uttered with a rising, childish intonation. Since then, it has often seemed that this verb says more about the speaker's relationship with and opinion of the person who is doing the complaining, as it simultaneously dismisses the complaint and belittles the complainer. CEOs often criticize low-level employees who whine about this or that, but you rarely hear of CEOs whining.

Is there a way to include this type of spin in the dictionary entry? Should it be?Pithecanthropus4152 (talk) 22:35, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Verb (used with object)[edit]

  1. to utter with or as if with a whine: I whined my litany of complaints.


  1. a whining utterance, sound, or tone.
  2. a feeble, peevish complaint.

Also related to German 'weinen'?[edit]

It says it is related to Dutch 'wenen', but what about German 'weinen' (to weep, cry)? I mean, the en is just a meaningless suffix, and the 'wein' part looks suspiciously like whine.

This word is evidently not cognate with Dutch 'wenen' or German 'weinen'. These words are derived from *wainōną (to cry, wail), while 'whine' is derived from *hwīnaną. However, the meaning of 'complain' may be influenced by Old English wānian, also derived from wainōną. Similitudo nomini authentici (talk) 02:44, 30 May 2018 (UTC)